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Canada Teachers to be paid $12K to recruit and manage students under government program with WE Charity

02:53  01 july  2020
02:53  01 july  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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The Canada Student Service Grant program , which pays students and recent graduates to work with community organizations across the country, has come under new scrutiny after it was revealed the WE Charity was selected by the federal government as the only group able to administer the program .

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A key piece of a much-scrutinized $900-million program to get youth working in the community will also pay teachers $12,000 each to recruit and mentor students over the summer.

The Canada Student Service Grant program, which pays students and recent graduates to work with community organizations across the country, has come under new scrutiny after it was revealed the WE Charity was selected by the federal government as the only group able to administer the program. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have appeared multiple times at WE events.

The decision to pay teachers to recruit and manage their own students — even for an opportunity that would financially benefit the students — has surprised some.

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Teachers are responsible for educating and cultivating today’s students —the future of the U . S Teachers in schools that participate in the free or reduced-price lunch program were more likely to spend In order to recruit and retain strong teachers , particularly in schools with the greatest need

"We don't have all of the details, but certainly this is not common practice," said Ilona Dougherty, managing director of the Youth & Innovation Project at the University of Waterloo, who has co-founded several public service organizations.

According to the posting for the "Volunteer Manager" position on the WE website, educators will be expected to recruit and manage different numbers of students, depending on whether they're based in rural or urban areas.

"[W]e need engaged educators like you to recruit, lead and mentor a group of 75-100 eligible students in your community through this program. As a group leader, you will receive $12,000 in compensation," says the posting.

Cash for recruitment

Educators from rural regions need to recruit and oversee at least 55 students to receive the same compensation.

Volunteer groups fear being sidelined by student grant program

  Volunteer groups fear being sidelined by student grant program Organizations that place volunteers with community-based non-profits are concerned they may be sidelined by a federal grant program designed to compensate student volunteers for their time. On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which pays post-secondary students and recent graduates up to $5,000 for volunteering in their communities. The government has contracted the international WE Charity to design and implement the program. Paula Speevak, president and CEO of Volunteer Canada, said community-based organizations have expressed frustration with how the federal program is being implemented.

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Responsibilities include being available to "actively recruit" students, and helping to oversee volunteer participation in the program during July and August.

The students themselves have the opportunity to make between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on how many hours they complete with a not-for-profit organization.

The WE Charity referred all questions about the program to the federal government.

"It's the first time in my life I've heard of teachers being paid for any kind of compensation or bonus for recruiting their own students to an activity," said Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, who has criticized how the grant program is being run.

The money being paid to teachers amounts to administrative costs, said Poilievre, arguing it would be better spent on the charities and students themselves.

Sophie Gregoire standing on a stage:  Sophie Gregoire Trudeau on stage during WE Day UK 2020 at The SSE Arena, Wembley on March 04, 2020 in London. © Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Sophie Gregoire Trudeau on stage during WE Day UK 2020 at The SSE Arena, Wembley on March 04, 2020 in London.

He also questioned the impact of paying teachers "bonuses or commissions" to recruit students for any kind of activity.

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International students are to be offered a two-year work visa after graduating from a British That move was blamed for a drop in international student enrolments. Jo Johnson, who resigned as The government said part of the aim was to recruit talented graduates in disciplines such as maths

"If that becomes widespread, how will that influence the student-teacher relationship and the professionalism of our school system?" he asked.

A very popular program

In this case, the students and recent graduates stand to earn both money and work experience at a time when jobs are hard to come by. The program has proved popular. Applications opened last Thursday and by Friday evening the government said it already had received 25,000 applications.

That surpasses the 20,000 opportunities the government said would be available initially — though in a news release the prime minister pledged "tens of thousands more" placements would become available over the course of the summer.

That's good news for the WE Charity, which will be paid "commensurate with the number of students who get involved," said a spokesperson for Minister of Youth Bardish Chagger. The federal government has "currently allocated" $19.5 million to WE to run the program, including $5 million that would be passed on to the other not-for-profits involved.

Trudeau has said WE will not be making any profit from its work with the Canada Student Service Grant program.

Tories ask procurement watchdog to review contracts between Ottawa, WE Charity

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The program is still an infusion of funding for WE at time when many not-profits have had to cut staff or even consider closing down because of the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.

Dougherty questions whether paying teachers $12,000 is the best way to spend that money. She said she'd like to see the emphasis placed on the charities themselves and the students work there, rather than on recruiting.

"I think a concern is that money isn't being focused on ensuring that young people have real meaningful opportunities to engage with non-profit organizations," she said.

The prime minister has defended both the program and the WE Charity's involvement in it.

"They have networks in every corner of the country and organizations that they work with," Trudeau told reporters on Monday.

Describing WE as "the largest national youth service organization in the country," he said the charity has worked for years to connect young people with service opportunities.

He also said public servants identified WE as the only organization capable of delivering the Canada Student Service Grant program.

Watch: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defends decision to put WE Charity in charge of student program

Trudeau has attended several WE Day events run by the charity over the years. His wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts the "WE Well-being" podcast focused on mental health. The prime minister's mother also has done work with group.

Rex Murphy: The WE Charity scandal is far from over

  Rex Murphy: The WE Charity scandal is far from over This isn’t over — not by a long shot. Just because the cozy contract between the Government of Canada and WE Charity has been nullified, doesn’t mean we’re through with this controversy; and just because Marc and Craig Kielburger and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau want to walk away from a mess that seems entirely of their own construction does not mean they should be allowed to do so. This is a $900-million program that appears to have been ever so casually passed on to Trudeau’s friends. A stir arose and now both parties say, “Oh my, how unfortunate this is. If we’d known this would stir a controversy, we would never have agreed to it.

WE has confirmed that none of the three has ever been paid an honorarium for their work, although travel costs for Sophie Grégoire Trudeau have been covered for her participation at WE events. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office also has said Grégoire Trudeau's involvement with WE was cleared by the ethics commissioner.

On Friday, Trudeau said he works with the organization because he believes strongly in promoting opportunities for young people.

"I will continue to do so, as will my family."

Confusion, frustration abound as feds weigh options for $900M student program .
OTTAWA — Anxious students and non-profit groups say they're confused and frustrated as they wait to hear what will happen to the $900-million volunteering program previously administered by the WE Charity. The government says it is working on what to do with the Canada Student Services Grant program after its agreement with the WE organization was cancelled last week amid controversy over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's connections to theThe government says it is working on what to do with the Canada Student Services Grant program after its agreement with the WE organization was cancelled last week amid controversy over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's connections to the Toronto-based group.

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