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WE Charity only organization capable of running COVID-19 volunteer program: PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the non-partisan civil service, not him, decided the WE charity was the best option to dole out grants to students who volunteer in this summer.

WE will administer the Canada Student Service Grant, which will provide eligible students with up to $5,000 to support the costs of post-secondary education in the fall, with the amount of each grant dependent on the time the recipient devotes to volunteer work.

To get those payments out, Trudeau says the government needed an organization that could establish a large network to reach enough students and groups.

Trudeau says as the public service dug into it, officials came back with only one organization: WE, an organization he has supported in the past.

He also says the Canadian organization is not making any profits off the administration of the grant program.

The program is part of a $9-billion investment by the federal government to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on young people that also includes money for thousands more summer-job placements and internships.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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