Evidence of meeting #22 for Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was charity.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Sofia Marquez  Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual
Reed Cowan  Donor and Fundraiser, Wesley Smiles Coalition, Free The Children, As an Individual

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Okay. I have to move on.

With regard to the April 17 meeting with Minister Chagger and Craig Kielburger, you were at that meeting, correct?

1:30 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

In your email of April 20—this is what my colleague Madame Gaudreau was referring to—you state that Minister Chagger suggested that we should “include a service component” and “consider opening a service-stream”. This is to switch the entrepreneurship grant into what became the Canada summer student service grant. She mentioned that separate service stream in that meeting, correct?

1:30 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

I don't recall the minister mentioning anything specific to the Canada student service grant at that call—

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

I'm just going to quote. You said, “Minister Chagger expressed interest in exploring ways to adapt the entrepreneurship proposal we submitted to Min. Ng and include a service component to it. She suggested that we should consider opening a service-stream....” Those are your words from April 20.

On April 22, Craig Kielburger repeats the same thing, so I believe this comes from your notes. She did talk about this service stream being opened through working with you guys...?

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

From what I recall from that meeting with Minister Chagger, within the mandate of her office she was tasked with overseeing and ensuring that the Canada Service Corps program, which has nothing to do with the Canada student service grant, which later became a program—or it didn't.... That program was something we were deeply interested in better understanding and supporting the federal government in scaling, so as such—

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Sorry, but I'm running out of time here. That was because you met her about the entrepreneurship grant.

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

That's correct.

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

You said she suggested adding this service stream—that's what it says—and then Craig said the same thing on April 22, so did she talk about adding a service stream, as you state in your notes?

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Chris Warkentin

Ms. Marquez, I'll get you to answer that question, and then we'll turn it over to Mr. Carrie.

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

I can't recall word for word what Minister Chagger said regarding the service piece, but I do remember it was focused mainly on the social entrepreneurship proposal that we had at hand.

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

She suggested we should consider opening a service stream and including a service component, and that became the Canada student service grant.

Thank you for that.

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Chris Warkentin

Mr. Carrie, we'll turn to you now for our next round of questions.

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you, Ms. Marquez, for being here today.

Have you had any contact with any member of the government or any representative of WE Charity between your previous appearance at committee and this meeting today?

February 26th, 2021 / 1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

I've been in contact with previous employees of WE Charity. I built a number of meaningful relationships with previous colleagues, so I would say, broadly speaking, yes.

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Do you have anybody at the government?

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

At the government, I haven't engaged with public officials or elected officials at all.

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Would you feel comfortable sharing the names of the people at WE Charity you were in contact with?

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

I find it unnecessary to name all my personal friends in public at this point in time, if that's okay.

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

That's fair.

I want to go back to a few things. You were director of government and stakeholder relationships from January 2018 to July 2020. In that role, was avoiding conflicts of interest and potential appearance of conflicts of interest part of your duty, yes or no?

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Really? Okay.

Was it your responsibility to communicate with members of the cabinet to help benefit WE Charity?

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual

Sofia Marquez

Can you repeat the question?

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

In your role as director of government and stakeholder relations, would you say it was your responsibility to communicate with members of the cabinet to help benefit WE Charity, yes or no?

1:35 p.m.

Former Staff Member, Government and Stakeholder Relations, WE Charity, As an Individual