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No word from feds on student volunteer program since WE deal scrapped, charities say

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself over WE Charity talks
After much controversy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized for not recusing himself from the federal government's talks with the WE Charity over a $912 million contract. Abigail Bimman has reaction, and looks at how WE is making statements of its own.

Non-profit groups that wanted to use Canada Student Service Grant to hire volunteers say they have not heard a peep from the federal government since WE Charity walked away from managing the $912-million program almost two weeks ago.

That is causing angst for some organizations such as Souls Harbour Rescue Mission in Halifax that have already taken on some students but now don’t know whether the government will actually cover the payments they’ve been promised.

Read more: Trudeau apology means ‘fairly certain finding of a contravention’, former ethics commissioner says

The government had promised students could receive up to $5,000 toward their education costs by volunteering through the program.

Souls Harbour CEO Michelle Porter says the charity will honour the commitment made to the seven students who are now volunteering in its thrift store if the government kills the program.

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Ex-ethics commissioner talks Trudeau, WE Charity controversy
Ex-ethics commissioner talks Trudeau, WE Charity controversy

But she says the cost will have financial implications across the rest of her organization, which provides lunches and a safe space for hundreds of people every week.

The government says it is still working on the details after taking over the program from WE on July 3 but has otherwise provided little to no information.