Royal Bank of Canada announced that it has severed ties with the controversial WE Charity, after several years of being one of the aid organization’s most prominent contributors.
“After reviewing our partnership, RBC and WE Charity have reached a mutual agreement to end all sponsorship and donation programming,” the bank said in its statement. “Enabling youth remains a key priority for RBC in our commitment to helping communities prosper. We continue to focus on opportunities that help youth develop skills, gain work experience, and more easily access mental well-being services through our broad programming and RBC-created resources.”
The termination came in the wake of similar withdrawals by WE Charity’s largest donors and sponsors, which included Telus and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Data from the Canada Revenue Agency showed that RBC donated approximately $2 million to WE Charity since 2015.
The youth-focused foundation’s troubles began on June 25, when the federal government awarded WE Charity administrative privileges in a $912-million student financial aid program.
While the government has subsequently retracted the decision after searing criticism from the opposition, WE Charity – which has long-time links with the Trudeau family – would’ve received $43.53 million had the project pushed through, CBC News reported.
Mario Dion, the federal ethics commissioner, said that his office is investigating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau for possible violations of laws regarding conflict of interest and preferential treatment.