CANADALAND
#705 The White Saviors
Craig Kielburger was the Greta Thunberg of the 90s – a 12 year-old kid from the suburbs who dreamed of freeing the world’s children from slavery. His activism made him famous, and he was endorsed by Oprah, the Pope, the Queen, and the Clintons. His campaign became a global movement and a powerful brand. But right from the start, there were uncomfortable questions about money and exploitation. Decades later, it all came crashing down. But the seeds of WE’s self-destruction were planted right from the start…

Official responses from WE:

According to the WE Organization: neither the WE Organization nor Marc or Craig Kielburger have ever been investigated by a law enforcement agency, currently or in the past.

The WE Organization maintains that all financial transactions between its various entities, both charitable and for-profit, have followed all applicable laws.

In his libel claim against Saturday Night Magazine: Craig Kielburger said that the article was false and led people to wrongly believe he was keeping the money for himself. According to a reported statement by a Free the Children accountant, donations made prior to the organization becoming a registered charity were deposited in a separate bank account, and the group was being run as a charity pending Revenue Canada’s approval of its application.

2018 investigation:

https://www.canadaland.com/all-of-wes-answers-to-canadaland-and-letters-from-their-lawyers/

2019 investigation:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21044335-we-responses-to-canadaland-2019?responsive=1&title=1

Further reading:

Canadaland’s reporting on WE Charity: https://www.canadaland.com/?s=we+charity

The WE Charity story, according to WE:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/about-we/we-charity/our-story

WE.org Transparency page:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/transparency-reporting/we-charity

WE.org Financials page:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/about-we/we-charity/governance/

ME to WE Transparency page:

https://www.we.org/en-CA/transparency-reporting/me-to-we

Music by Audio Network

This episode contains source materials used under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Sources:

It Takes a Child

Craig Kielburger’s Story – A Journey into Child Labour

Directed by Judy Jackson

Produced by Judy Films

Youtube

The Story of Craig Kielburger

produced, and narrated by Sherine Mansour

CPAC

Youtube

In Search Of Character

LiveWire Media

Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc

https://www.livewiremedia.com/product/in-search-of-character/

The Price WE Paid

The Fifth Estate/CBC

Interview with Craig Kielburger

CSPAN

Craig Kielburger NSB Speakers promotional video

Youtube

Marc Kielburger NSB Speakers promotional video

Youtube

WE Movement Youtube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6agaIkn5aBJlLLds7P1HQ

MeToWe Youtube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6agaIkn5aBJlLLds7P1HQ

CTV News – Kielburger brothers interview with Lisa Laflamme

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_p5PRLy2os

MTV Cribs: Craig Kielburger Episode

Haddon Strategy

https://vimeo.com/49975157

Editor’s Note (Aug 20, 2021): WE Charity, its founders and related entities have notified Canadaland that they intend to sue Canadaland because they contend that the trailer and press release for The White Saviors contain “baseless allegations”.

You can read a copy of their Libel Notice here and their detailed response to the trailer and press release here. The trailer and press release for The White Saviors provides a summary of information and allegations that will be fully explained in the podcast series, including WE’s responses to the allegations.
August 23, 2021
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