Evidence of meeting #45 for Finance in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was sir.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Michelle Douglas  Former Chair of the Board of Directors, WE Charity, As an Individual
Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Caroline Bosc
Marc Kielburger  Founder, WE Charity
Craig Kielburger  Founder, WE Charity

1:20 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

We will let the witness answer the question.

Go ahead, Marc.

1:20 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Marc Kielburger

Mr. Chair, thank you.

Because we are together for, I believe, a relatively unprecedented four hours, we just want to make sure we can provide as much context as possible so the answers to the questions can be provided with full context.

Craig has the most specific details, sir, to those conversations because he was the one who was leading them. Thank you.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

All right, so you just imagined a call on a specific date with specific words spoken, and you recounted words that were spoken on the date of a call that just didn't happen.

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Marc Kielburger

Sir, what I shared was, again, incorrect. I shared that we had an opportunity to share this message. I was very excited. Craig, again, had the details, and part of today is going through all those details with you in a very specific manner. Again, I apologize. I was just very excited about the program.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Got it.

The National Post obtained a memo in which, Marc, you said, and I quote, “I'm thrilled to share that we have been invited by the Prime Minister and Canadian Heritage to host a unique WE Day event in Ottawa on Canada Day weekend, 2017.” Then Justin Trudeau personally called you, or was it Craig who got the call from Justin Trudeau?

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

Sir, I'm happy to speak to that question.

It was in regard to the fact that the Prime Minister had announced $200 million for funding supporting organizations across Canada for national celebrations for Canada 150. Canadian Heritage was the group that we engaged with. We submitted a formal proposal through Heritage and that was—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Right. That wasn't the question. That wasn't the question.

The question was, did the Prime Minister personally call? That's the wording of the statement. You were thrilled that “we have been invited by the Prime Minister...”, so that was another imaginary interaction with the Prime Minister's Office, or with the Prime Minister himself.

July 28th, 2020 / 1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

Sir, if I may respond—

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Go ahead.

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

I can say with certainty that neither Marc nor I has ever, in 25 years, received a phone call from the Prime Minister on this topic.

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Okay, thank you.

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

In fact, when people—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

That's all. That's quite—

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Mr. Poilievre, we are going to allow the witnesses.... They're here for four hours, so we will allow them to answer—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Yes, and also focus on the questions asked.

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

—in relatively equal time.

Go ahead, Craig.

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

We understand the politically sensitive nature of the moment, but typically when people say that Heritage Canada, the Prime Minister, in the midst of a moment on Canada's 150th anniversary, has invited you to engage, it was in relation to the fact that the Prime Minister—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Okay. Did you, Craig, speak to anyone in the PMO? Did you speak to anyone in the PMO on April 23?

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

Mr. Chair—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Did you speak to anyone in the PMO on April 23?

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

—we're happy to be here for four hours, but—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Great. Answer the question, then.

1:25 p.m.

Founder, WE Charity

Craig Kielburger

Sir, with great respect, we—

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

On April 23, did you speak to anyone in the Prime Minister's Office?