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Saskatchewan government drops contract with WE Charity over controversy

Last Updated Aug 5, 2020 at 2:54 pm EDT

Saskatchewan's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. Saskatchewan is the latest province to cut ties with the WE Charity as the organization deals with a fallout from a controversial contract with the federal government.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

REGINA — Saskatchewan is the latest province to cut ties with WE Charity, as the organization deals with fallout from a controversial contract with the federal government.

The Saskatchewan Party government had planned to partner with the organization on a $260,000 deal to promote mental well-being in schools.

The Opposition NDP raised concerns about that decision, pointing out that Premier Scott Moe and his wife had travelled to Kenya last year as guests of one of the charity’s founders.

Education Minister Gord Wyant says the contract was paused and won’t move ahead.

He cited conflict-of-interest concerns around Ottawa’s $900-million student grant program with WE Charity, as the charity had paid members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s family for speaking engagements.

Wyant says his government will try to find other organizations that can deliver mental supports to students.

In a statement Wednesday, WE Charity said it hit pause on all school board partnerships last month because of the controversy surrounding the grant program.

It said it respects Wyant’s decision.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Aug. 5, 2020

The Canadian Press