Why did the City of Toronto rent WE Charity’s former HQ for $6 million?

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I was not consulted properly prior to city staff signing the lease agreement

“Numerous residents have contacted my office requesting information be made public regarding the City’s lease agreement for 233 Carlton Street and any relationships between the City of Toronto, WE Charity, ME to We Social Enterprise or the Kielburger family,” the motion read.

In a brief interview, Wong-Tam told the Post that she is pushing for full transparency into how and why the location was picked out of numerous buildings in the area that were perhaps more suitable for the purposes of a women’s shelter.

“I was not consulted properly prior to city staff signing the lease agreement. If WE Organization solicited the city to bring this property to their attention, then we should know about it. Is the lease price in line with comparable properties in the area? I don’t think these questions are unreasonable,” she said.

As of Wednesday evening, the motion was adopted, and supported by Tory.

“The Mayor supports Councillor Wong-Tam’s motion and voted to add it to the Council agenda today because he has always been fully accountable and transparent about this issue,” said Don Peat, the mayor’s communications director.

Long before he was mayor, Tory was a friend of the Kielburgers. He attended Craig Kielburger’s wedding in 2016, even posting a picture on Twitter that day saying how “thrilled” he was to sign the register at the wedding.

He was also a volunteer at WE events and travelled to Kenya in late 2008 with WE, along with his sister Jennifer Tory, a former RBC executive. The RBC Foundation was one of WE’s biggest charitable donors, and the bank itself was a major sponsor of WE-related events and programs. It recently cut all sponsorship and donor ties to the beleaguered charity.

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