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Conservatives ask procurement watchdog to probe government contracts with WE Charity

Coronavirus: Trudeau says WE is the ‘best and only’ service the government could partner with to help young people
WATCH: Trudeau says WE is the 'best and only' service the government could partner with to help young people (June 29)

The Conservatives are asking the federal procurement watchdog to review the circumstances around several sole-sourced contracts between the Liberal government and WE Charity.

That includes an arrangement that will see the Toronto-based youth organization manage a $900-million federal program for student volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Conservatives ask auditor to probe government’s $900M partnership with WE Charity

That sole-source contract has prompted questions about a potential conflict of interest, as both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau have connections to WE.

The Conservatives referenced those ties in their letter to procurement ombudsman Alexander Jeglic today, listing five other sole-sourced contracts between the charity and Ottawa.

Canadian Minister Chagger announces student volunteer grant program through Oct. 31
Canadian Minister Chagger announces student volunteer grant program through Oct. 31

The amounts for those other contracts range from $13,000 to $40,000 — small enough they were not required to be advertised for competitive bids.

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Trudeau has said the non-partisan public service concluded the WE organization was the only group in Canada capable of running the volunteer program.

READ MORE: Trudeau says civil service chose WE Charity for partnership on student grant program