Charity to Trudeau: Can we have the money back?

Back there on page A5 of the Fredericton Daily Gleaner (which is not online) you’ll find this story. (I provide some excerpts here)

Charity asks Trudeau to return $20,000 speaking fee

Byline: CHRIS MORRIS Legislature Bureau

A charitable organization trying to raise money for a seniors’ home in Saint John is asking federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to please send back the $20,000 it paid him for a fundraising event that flopped.

The Grace Foundation paid Trudeau $20,000 in speaking fees last year as it launched a campaign to raise badly needed funds for the elderly residents of the Church of St. John and St. Stephen Home Inc. in the Port City.

… The organization lost $21,000 on the Trudeau speech last June.

… the Grace Foundation wrote Trudeau in March, asking him to send back the $20,000.

“A refund of the fees charged for your speaking engagement to the Grace Foundation would meet our needs and would provide a positive public impression,” states the March 6 letter, obtained by the Telegraph-Journal.

Hossak said Trudeau has yet to reply to the letter. Trudeau’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

24 thoughts on “Charity to Trudeau: Can we have the money back?”

  1. So, David, just why should Trudeau (or any speaker) be asked to return fees, other than good will?

    Obviously, it’s difficult for me to comment without access to the actual story (has the Gleaner heard of the Internet at all?), but Trudeau was hired… to speak.

    He spoke, rendered a service, and was compensated.

    The foundation, according to its website, found sponsors including: The Wright Agency, RBC Dominion Securities, National Leasing, Images by Ceci, The Shadow Lawn Inn, and MBS Radio to defray the event costs. These were apparently insuffficient.

    It should also be noted that the foundation’s website has not been updated since December 2012, and the foundation’s FB page since June 2012. Could it be that the foundation is at least partially to blame for its shortfalls?

    Arguing that MPs should not accept speaking fees is fine. But I’m not seeing why Trudeau, or any other speaker, should be asked to return fees because the organizers couldn’t make the event a success.

    Am I missing something?

  2. Wow, how did the charity manage that? Sounds to me like they managed to make no money at all, which is kind of incredible and speaks to bad planning on their part.

    1. Or it speaks to the total disinterest in the Trudeau clone. Saint Johners have had a long standing love affair with Liberals. Suppose that is ebbing? Looks like it to me.

  3. Anyone need any further proof of the Trudeau and Liberal dishonesty policy? Can still hear this little clone of his father railing against Harper in Parliament about the dishonesty in the Conservative Party and he should resigning over it. Hahahaha!

    Guess little clone needs to recall these words and demands to Harper, repay the $$$$ to Saint John and retire.

    1. So a charity sets up a fundraising event, the event flops, and they’re out of pocket for the speaker fee.
      How is that the speaker’s fault, exactly? And exactly what dishonesty is involved here?

      1. Don’t expect a reasonable response. The best is when they spout nonsense like this in public and get truly embarrassed.

      2. Takes the edge off the Senate debacles of the Tories and whatever disaster is about to be unleashed.
        Justin could run on the platform of prosecuting Mulrooney and win PM for life.

  4. Why would a ‘charity’ pay $20,000 to have Trudeau speak? Sounds like extremely poor planning. Did they plan to sell tickets? It makes no sense. If a refund of the 20K would solve their problems, why didn’t they just use it in the first place? I am no fan of Trudeau, but these amateurs just seem like they are throwing mud.

    1. I love this comment. So true! Like politicians, charities are accountable for how they spend their money. Looks like these guys took a gamble and lost.

  5. I cannot believe how ludicrous this is – the charity booked him and signed a contract. It’s their responsibility to get the audience out for the event, not his. How utterly ridiculous to expect any speaker to give back their fee . . . a year later.

  6. On Wednesday June 27, Grace Foundation hosted its inaugural fund raising event. Guest speaker Justin Trudeau spoke passionately about our roles and responsibilities as Canadians in the global community, challenging each individual to consider his or her contribution toward positive change. Following the formal presentation, audience members had an opportunity to pose questions and engage in conversation. Audience members agree it was an evening to remember.

    From the Grace Foundation website.

  7. According to the Grace Foundation’s own website the event with Justin Trudeau was a success, “an evening to remember”.

    In a later news release the Grace Foundation thanked the corporate sponsors of the Trudeau event. They referred to their first fund raising event as being a success.

    These certainly don’t look like comments from someone who just lost money on an event.

  8. I think says more about the poor governance of the charity, than Justin Trudeau.
    Why did the charity seek out and contract for the speaker without gauging his local fundraising appeal? Why did they not cancel his engagement when it was clear that tickets were not selling well? (Most standard speaking contracts allow for canceling the engagement with varying amounts of compensation depending on how much notice is given.) Why didnt the charity just explain the situation and politely ask for a charitable donation instead of a refund?

  9. AND folks this is why so many charity’s get a bad name. The audacity to blame a speaker for a bad turn-out and end-result is pretty amazing to me and speaks to this charity’s likely poor management. How about you take a good hard look at your own planning efforts. I do hope the board is horrified when the name of their charity – Grace Foundation (also known as the Church Home Charitable Foundation Inc. is known. Also reflects badly on the hospital too.

    This could have been handled way better IMO.

  10. What I find most intriguing is why anybody or any organization would pay any politician any money to come and speak. Imagine how many hungry people in this country could be fed with $ 20 000. This is furhter proof that our landscape is littered with stupid people!

    1. Agreed! They get hired to speak because of their status. Should the money go to their party or charity or in their pockets? Or if there is no money, another good looking word “compensation”, they won’t come to speak for a good cost?

  11. It would appear many are missing the point. MP don’tstuff their pockets it is
    GREEEEED on poor boy Justin Trudeau’s part. Imagine if he held the purse strings of the whole country. Bloody hell he’d own us and turn us back to serfs. Serving the king.

  12. Return the money, you moron !!!!! If you had an ounce of intelligence, you would realize that you would do yourself a favour both politically and personally, if you took that $20,000 and gave it back. But, personally, I don’t think you’re smart enough. Maybe you could also help yourself if you take that large silver spoon out of your big mouth.
    I also do agree that someone was an idiot and should be held to account who decided to call on him to speak at this event.

  13. Leaving aside that up to now, it’s been considered part of the MP job to give speeches.
    Leaving aside the intestinal fortitude it takes for a hereditary millionnaire to stretch out his hand and take $20K from a charity (I am getting those $20.- donation solicitations in mail. When I realized that it takes 1,000 fools like me to send in my $20-30 before one single cent goes towards the charity itself, after a speaker gets paid, my chin’s drop must have been fairly perceptible.)
    But what a wonderful invention for a politician! Had the simpleton Mulroney come up with the idea, he could have just give a few speeches and all the Karl-Heinz Schreiber money would be perfectly legit and above the board. No special interest and lobbyist bribing an elected official here!
    Why, it’s just a group of people eager to hear from this guy and paying him a speakers fee. What corruption are you talking about?

  14. As with any issue that involves something going off the rails, everyone is not saying whats really on their mind.
    Want the truth? Follow the money.
    There are limits to who and how much can be donated to a politician or their party.
    Having a well known party rep get paid a speaking fee could be used to get around those limits…could be.
    The LPC has in the past used,or I should say misused, public funds to fund partisan activities in the Province of Quebec under the guise of a code of silence that none spoke the obvious. They asked for the refund in March, he said he would if that’s what they want. Should be no problem for someone with the financial means of M Trudeau..should it. So whats the delay, unless the money was already spent on something else. Also remember this is the same person that required an extension to register his “supporters” prior to his acclimation as liberal leader.
    The boy’s got a political tin ear if he can’t figure out how to make it right, or something else is putting the brakes on the refund. To those that contend he fulfilled his contact and he owes the charity nothing, fair enough, but why then is he waffling and not just saying that instead?
    Again, follow the money.

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