Justin Trudeau and the Grace Foundation: Er, never mind - Macleans.ca

Justin Trudeau and the Grace Foundation: Er, never mind

The charity apparently decides it doesn’t want its money back


Four months after the Grace Foundation wrote to Justin Trudeau asking about repayment of a speaking fee he’d charged to appear at a fundraising event put on by the foundation and two months after the Prime Minister’s Office distributed copies of the foundation’s letter to reporters, the foundation is apparently no longer seeking repayment, despite Mr. Trudeau’s offer to do so.

And so this particular saga seems to find an end.

Judith Baxter, the Grace Foundation board member who reached out to Conservative MP and provided him with a copy of the foundation’s letter, is apparently no longer with the foundation. Another departed board member suggests he left, in part, because he didn’t see the logic in hiring Mr. Trudeau for the event (“I thought their plans were a little more grandiose than suited the situation”).

Last month, the Grace Foundation declared itself “deeply distressed about many statements made from various persons”—with particular concern expressed about Mr. Moore’s comments—and said that “there was never any intention for this matter to become a political topic of discussion on the floor of the House of Commons.” Nonetheless, the Grace Foundation is now preserved for eternity in the pages of Hansard and the Conservatives are no doubt happy for the welcome distraction this provided during their difficult spring and the questions that were raised about Mr. Trudeau’s conduct.


Justin Trudeau and the Grace Foundation: Er, never mind

  1. Whoa, $277 000?!?! How did I miss that?

  2. It doesn’t matter what Grace Foundation says. This will hurt Trudeau with the “average” voter. How much?! It remains to be seen.

    • I agree. As sleazy and unethical as it was of the Conservatives to manipulate a charity for political advantage, I think it accomplished the objective of focusing the situation on Justin Trudeau.

    • “How much?! It remains to be seen”

      About as much as wafer-gate hurt Stephen Harper

  3. Another Tricky-Dicky-Harper attempt that blew up in his face

  4. “the questions that were raised about Mr. Trudeau’s conduct” were pretty much found to be pure bs. Nothing wrong with his “conduct”. I do wish the same could be said for the CPC because they’re running this sad ship of a country I once respected. Now, we look like America’s mini me. So sad.

    • I agree — look at Harper’s fetishization of the Monarchy, putting up portraits of the Queen, naming everything Royal, etc. It’s making us just like America.

  5. Let`s see what we have here:

    A few members think it would be a good idea to invite Trudeau to speak at a charity fundraiser.

    Trudeau agrees to speak for $20,000.

    The fundraiser flops—Trudeau leaves town with $20,000.

    A few months later the Grace Foundation asks Trudeau to return the $20,000 to the charity,

    Trudeau refuses.

    After a couple days of bad publicity Trudeau agrees to return the money and also return some of the other $277,000 that he had collected.

    To date, he has returned 0 dollars.

    Now suddenly, after losing half their board members the Grace Foundation say they don`t really want the $20,000 returned.

    Now, if only we had an investigative journalist, a sleuth, even a blogger, who would have far better resources and ability than I, who would then attempt to find out why the Foundation all of a sudden decides it doesn`t need the $20,000 after all.

    If only …………………………..

    • Trudeau “leaves town” with $20,000? You sure he didn’t “skulk away” or “slither off?”

      • Oh I think you`ve been reading too many Wherry reports on the Duffy saga,

    • They were booted because a smart charity cannot allow its board members to politicize the charity. When you do, you halve your donor pool. That’s charity suicide. I’ve worked in the industry. That’s a hard and fast rule.

      It also comes perilously close to the ‘political activity” that Mr. Harper has been so concerned about regarding environmental charities.

      The former board members “went rogue’ and leaked the original request to the Conservative party.Not to the media first, you’ll note, but directly to the MP.

      The community goodwill you earn by booting the offending members will more than offset the $20,000 they lost in the long term.

      Seriously, dude, you’re reaching.

      • Well, as someone that has ” worked in the industry ” you should realize that the the charity was politicized the day they chose to hire Trudeau to speak.

        More than a year after the Liberals chose an interim leader and an unofficial campaign had begun to choose Trudeau as the new political leader, some of the board members thought it would be a good idea to politicize the charity by hiring a future Liberal leader as a speaker. I suspect that one of the reasons why the fundraiser flopped was because many of those who would normally turn out in droves for a fundraiser stayed away because they view Trudeau as an opportunistic fool.

        I cannot see how ” booting the offending members ” who were correct in predicting the flop, will improve community goodwill.

        • “…some of the board members thought it would be a good idea to politicize the charity by hiring a future Liberal leader as a speaker.”

          They decided to hire a future Liberal leader. You do see the problem with that statement, right?

          • Sorry, my bad.
            It wasn`t Justin, son of former PM Pierre who was being touted, cajoled,and begged to become the saviour of the Liberal party since the 2011 election thumping.

            There is no way any one at Grace could have imagined that hiring someone, who not only had great hair, he was on an unofficial campaign to become leader by being the number 1 fundraiser for the Liberal Party.

            How could the Trudeau fans on the Grace board have possibly known they were hiring a future Liberal leader for $20,000.

          • If I’m not mistaken, at that time JT was still saying he wasn’t going to run. Are you saying they should have assumed he was lying (in which case, we should assume the same of any politician, including every member of your beloved CPC)? Or are you saying the members of the Grace Foundation are known for their clairvoyant abilities and should not have so badly misread the tea leaves?

          • Hey, Andrew, I note you’re no longer intimating that Trudeau paid off the charity to shut them up.

            Given up on that track already? Please don’t. It’s fun to watch.

    • It was truly amazing how many journalists automatically tried to attack the charity in an attempt to absolve Trust Fund Trudeau of his sins.

      • It was truly amazing how many journalists automatically tried to attack Trudeau in an attempt to absolve the Grace Foundation of their mismanagement.

      • Really? Which journalists “attacked” the Grace Foundation? And I mean criticized them, not merely providing facts. And, please don’t confuse journalists with opinion writers.

  6. The Grace Foundation never asked or wrote to Trudeau to refund his
    speaking fee. They wrote to the speaking agency who they had booked
    Trudeau thru.

    • Yeah, that explains everything—-I`m sure they thought the Speaking agency keeps $20.000 laying around for this type of emergency.

  7. I am surprised you are bringing this up again, Mr. Wherry. You really should let Mr. Trudeau’s actions as an MP who took money from charities while other Canadians gave of their time and money TO charity fade from the memories of the average Canadian. Instead you keep giving us opportunities to recall that Mr. Trudeau made the choice to join public office and take a pay cut but had no intention of taking a pay cut. Instead, he missed time at his work as a public servant to pad his own pocket in a way that is distasteful for those who are altruistic.
    One of the most egregious things he did in my opinion is to take money…$35K for speaking to Canadian Mental Health, a national wide, volunteer-run non-profit that helps people with devastating mental illnesses, like his mother has suffered. He wouldn’t even speak for free to them AND I highly doubt he spoke to them about the environment. You are completely wrong if you don’t think this speaks to Mr. Trudeau’s lack of character in the eyes of Canadians.

    • Everything you will ever need to know about the lack of objectivity of Wherry and most others in the silent media can be found in the last 3 words of this post from Wherry.

      • I think Mr. Wherry is foolish to bring this up. For all he believes that it paints the CPC in a bad light (and he may be completely correct), it also paints Mr. Trudeau in a terrible light. It looks like he only “stripped” for charity FOR FREE because someone told him as leader of the Liberals he can no longer charge charities for his services.

        • Trudeau was useful when he was speaking to a captive audience of adolescents in a high school gym, or a sympathetic group at the local union hall or teaching association, but nobody in the private sector or those in charitable organizations who were wary of his politics would want to be seen paying him for his fluff.

    • I have to wonder what charities do with all the money they raise. With everyone giving there time and service to them for free, what could they need money for?

      • Let me guess…then you had a revelation….I know…they use that money to give poor deserving soles like Justin Trudeau $35K for speaking for 30 minutes! What an awesome way to spend that money!

      • They wanted to buy new furniture for an old folks home. Thanks to Trust Fund Trudeau, an admitted millionaire, he walked away with $20,000 and they had to cover the loss. I’m sure that’s exactly what people expected when they showed up to a charitable event.

        • Really? Someone was going to charge them for the furniture?! Charge a charity?! My gosh, I’ve got the vapours.

          • I suppose you have ‘the vapors’ that Canadian Mental Health uses donated money to get homeless people who are suffering from mental health off of the streets and into homes of their own and on to medication as well. Yes, it must be shocking to you that building materials, mortgages, medications aren’t always donated but people’s time and other resources usually are when it comes to charities. What is shocking to me is that you think Justin Trudeau is worth $35K for 30 minutes work when that would pay for one RN to work for 6 months at Insite in Vancouver to ensure that no one OD’s there. Honestly, do you really in your deluded mind, think JT is providing the same level of care in 30 mins to a person with mental illness as a nurse who works with someone at Insite for 6 months? How much money is that nurse saving the system by keeping dirty needles off of the street and addicts out of the hospital and out of jail?
            What about a mental health worker? That $35K pays a whole salary for a year. A mental health worker can facilitate getting mentally ill people off of the street, get them funding for medication and a place to live as well as ensure they get to appointments. They can also keep them out of the hospital, saving the system $1000 per day per patient. One mental health worker might have 30 patients.

    • what if he had a sick wife, wouldn’t that make him above reproach.

      the way you bent over backwards to excuse duffy for breaking the law but attack trudeau for adhering to guidelines is pretty laughable here.

      • I at least admitted I was wrong about Duffy. You however, can’t let that go. Instead you keep bringing it up over and over and keep trying to use it to shut down any discourse that might be negative about your leader, Mr. Trudeau. It is alright for someone to make mistakes. I admit to mine. If you want me 40 lashes for them, go ahead and keep handing them out. The fact that you can’t let it go and keep using my mistake which i admitted to the next day really says more about you than it does about me. It also tells me that you think it alright for us to have a long memory….how about 7 years long…adscam….