Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being criticized on Twitter after he donated $50 million to Education Cannot Wait during Sunday’s Global Citizen Festival.
Trudeau, who wasn’t able to make it to the annual event honouring Nelson Mandela, tweeted to this year’s host, Trevor Noah, pledging a large donation from Canada.
Education Cannot Wait is an organization focused on funding education for children affected by conflicts, natural disasters, and other crises.
Several political figures in Canada, however, did not like Trudeau’s delivery of the announcement, accusing Trudeau of trying to “impress” the comedian. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called him out, writing, “Pledging $50 million in a tweet to impress a TV personality?”
Canadian businessman and erstwhile “Dragon’s Den” judge W. Brett Wilson wrote, “This doesn’t seem right.”
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel tweeted that Trudeau’s message was “tone deaf” before accusing him of wanting to be noticed by a TV star.
Noah’s response was simple:
Louis Belanger, the director of communications for International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, revealed the $50 million is actually part of $400 million earmarked for the Global Partnership for Education, to be spread over three years, which was announced during June’s G7 Summit in Quebec.
In a few tweets, Belanger explained the decision to announce the $50-million donation was made three weeks ago.
“We always look for hooks to release the funds,” he told Global News.