Tories ask auditor general to probe 'outsourcing' of $900M student aid program

Conservative

The federal Conservatives are calling for an investigation into the Liberal government's decision to have an international charity administer a $900-million program designed to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Auditor General Karen Hogan Sunday, the Conservatives say the decision to "outsource'' the Canada Student Service Grant to WE Charity undermines Parliament's ability to monitor the program.

They also note Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's previous links to the organization.

Trudeau defended employing WE Charity to administer the program last week despite the group's ties to the prime minister and his wife, who hosts one of the organization's podcasts.

Trudeau said the decision to use WE was made by the non-partisan public service, not by him.

The grant provides eligible students with up to $5,000 for volunteer work with non-profit organizations helping to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.