News Brief

Finance Minister Bill Morneau Also Tied To WE Charity

One daughter spoke at WE Day and another is a current employee

Another member of the Trudeau government has family connections to the WE organization.

Clare Morneau, one of the daughters of Finance Minister Bill Morneau, spoke at WE Day Ottawa on November 9, 2016, when she was 17 years old. A Toronto Star profile at the time described her as “Craig Kielburger in a kilt.”

Asked if she was paid to speak at that or any other WE event, WE Charity tells Canadaland, “No, Clare Morneau was never paid.”

Another daughter of Morneau is a current employee of WE Charity. Grace Acan, who became part of the Morneau family after they sponsored her coming to Canada from northern Uganda in 2010, “started at WE in August 2019 as a coordinator on ME to WE Trips and in March 2020, she transitioned to the WE Schools team as a coordinator,” according to the charity.

Clare Morneau also enjoyed the support of WE co-founder Marc Kielburger when she published her first book in 2016. The cover of Kakuma Girls: Sharing Stories of Hardship and Hope from Kakuma Refugee Camp includes a blurb by Kielburger, describing it as “An inspiring portrait of African girl refugees by a passionate 17-year-old Canadian dedicated to positive change.”

The cover of the book Kakuma Girls by "Clare Morneau and contributors." It's a photo of a group of women, presumably in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. At the top of the cover is a blurb from Marc Kielburger.
The cover of Clare Morneau’s Kakuma Girls.

Asked about the circumstances of the endorsement, WE Charity says, “Marc Kielburger seeks to support young people in their writing projects about bettering the world. He has provided endorsements to many youth authors. Marc was asked by a literary representative of the publishing house, which was publishing Clare Morneau’s book, to consider an endorsement. After reading the book, Marc agreed.”

Neither Clare Morneau nor the office of Bill Morneau have responded to questions, but we will update when they do.

In 2019, Bill Morneau announced $3 million in federal funding to WE for its “social entrepreneurs” program.

Updated at 10:07 and 11:07 a.m. EDT to add comments from WE, and again at 11:40 a.m. to add information about Grace Acan.

Top photo of Bill Morneau with WE co-founder Craig Kielburger from Morneau’s Facebook page.

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