Kielburgers file defamation suit against Canadaland

We Charity bosses allege the publisher smeared their mother

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We Charity’s Kielburger family has filed a $3 million defamation lawsuit against a Toronto publisher, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

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The claim in Ontario Superior Court was filed in the name of the Kielburgers’ mother over allegations she diverted charitable donations to a family bank account.

The lawsuit accuses Canadaland Inc. of waging “a smear campaign” against the Kielburgers.

No statement of defence has yet been filed.

The claim is unproven.

The lawsuit stems from a podcast last September 20 that alleged Theresa Kielburger, 78, a retired Toronto schoolteacher, “deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations directly into the family’s personal bank account” dating from the earliest days of We Charity in the 1990s.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, lawyers for the Kielburger’s said while the podcast “did not expressly accuse Theresa of stealing, the issue of stealing charitable donations is raised.”

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The podcast was “shocking,” “vicious,” “callous,” “reckless,” “high-handed” and “reprehensible,” lawyers wrote.

“The statement that Theresa deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations directly into the family’s personal bank account is disinformation created and propagated by the defendants for the purposes of sensationalism,” said the Court application.

“The caption appearing as a preview of the impugned podcast described it as ‘The White Saviours: Canadaland. True Crime,’” wrote lawyers. “The words meant and were understood to mean the allegations in the podcast, including the allegations made concerning Theresa, constituted acts of criminality.”

We Charity earlier served libel notice on Canadaland for alleging the Kielburgers “amassed a personal fortune worth over $30 million,” operated “tax shelters,” “engaged in a fraudulent vaccination scheme in Africa” and “acted in a deceptive manner.”

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Canadaland on July 9, 2020 was the first to publish evidence We Charity had paid talent fees to members of the Prime Minister’s family prior to receiving a $43.5 million grant. Commons committee investigations later determined payments to Justin Trudeau’s family totaled $481,751.

Canadaland also revealed We Charity hired the daughter of then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s out of college.

Subsequent investigations determined We Charity covered $41,366 in expenses to host Morneau’s family at resorts in Ecuador and Kenya, prompting the finance minister to resign August 17, 2020 for breach of the Conflict Of Interest Act.

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