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In fact, the CSSG accounted for a mere 10% of the Trudeau government’s $9 billion student aid package.
Far more expensive components of it, such as the $5.25 billion Canada Student Emergency Benefit, the student equivalent of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for workers, were approved without controversy.
By contrast, the CSSG was a train wreck from the beginning, leading to it being scrapped barely a week after it was announced.
The Trudeau government budgeted $912 million for the program and signed a contract with WE of up to $500 million, with a $43.5 million management fee to administer it. WE co-founder Craig Kielburger testified only $200 million to $300 million would actually be paid to student volunteers.
Why would the Trudeau cabinet allocate $912 million to a student aid program in which as little as $200 million would go to students?
Student “volunteers” were to be paid $10 an hour — set by the Trudeau government, according to WE — to a maximum of $5,000 for 500 hours of work.
Why would the Trudeau cabinet approve a program paying volunteers — an oxymoron — less than the minimum wage, which, aside from raising ethical concerns, as other charities pointed out, could violate labour laws, as legal experts warned?
In fact, the actual pay rate would have been less than $10 an hour for many students because they were to be paid in a lump sum at the end of the program, solely if they reached specific targets of 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 hours of work.