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SCOTIA PLAZA F 416 595.0695

October 10, 2018 John Chapman
Direct Line: 416.595.8547
Direct Fax: 416.595.8695

Mail and Email

399-401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, Ont.
M5V 3A8

Attn: Jesse Brown

Dear Sirs:

Re: Proposed Publication on "WE Charity"

It is the understanding of my clients that you are the owner, publisher and controlling mind of
the website (“Canadaland”), and that you are ultimately responsible
for editorial content appearing on this website.

It has come to my clients’ attention that Canadaland is preparing a feature story about WE
Charity, co-founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger (the “Kielburgers”).

In the course of preparing a response to inquiries from Canadaland with respect to this
story, my clients recently learned that Canadaland had, on Sept 27, 2017, published a
recorded audio segment, titled “SHORT CUTS - It’s Important To Kick These People When
They’re Down” (the “Podcast”), in which you extensively discussed WE Charity and the

It is clear in listening to the words expressed in the Podcast, and from past reporting by
Canadaland, that Canadaland and you clearly hold negative view of WE Charity and its co­
founders and seek to do them harm. These words and, past reporting, show clear malice
towards my clients.

Further, Canadaland has a previously demonstrated history of inaccuracy with respect to its
statements about WE Charity and its co-founders.

In your Podcast, a number of key inaccurate statements were made regarding WE Charity
and the Kielburgers.

For example, at timecode 0:37 the Podcast states, “...the Globe and Mail's new project to
teach kids about media manipulation, through media manipulation...” The Podcast clearly
implies that the Globe and Mail and my clients are at the root of this alleged media

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The factual inaccuracies evident in the Podcast are numerous. Another example is the
inaccurate statement that the Globe and Mail partnered with a “private company.” The clear
innuendo and claims of the Podcast are that this “private company” and the Globe and Mail
partnered to enter into schools for nefarious purposes. This claim about a “private
company,” repeated in the Podcast, not once, but twice, is false. In fact, the Globe and Mail
partnered with WE Charity, a registered charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency. WE
Charity and the Globe and Mail have a well-documented, properly administered, and well-
regarded partnership to promote media literacy.

The multiple inaccuracies in your reporting could have been addressed by following the
established journalistic practice of seeking to verify facts with WE Charity, and/or contacting
WE Charity in advance to allow the organization the opportunity to comment on your claims.
That Canadaland followed neither such well-established journalistic practices is further
evidence of its disregard for accuracy and an intent to cause harm to WE Charity and its
founders by publishing inaccurate and misleading content.

Recent correspondence to WE Charity from editorial staff affiliated with Canadaland
indicates that Canadaland intends to, again, fail to ensure the accuracy of its facts and fail to
strive for fair and balanced reporting.
Your website appears to be determined to knock the organization down. When asked what
the angle for the latest story is, the Canadaland reporter replied: “We don’t yet have a focus
of the story.... It seems that your website publication is pre-determined to produce a
negative story, and you are simply shaping an article to suit your bias.

The above statement made by your editorial staff, as well as listening to the views
expressed on Canadaland podcast and reading past reporting via the website, strongly
indicates a bias against WE Charity and its co-founders, and that you personally seek to do
harm to the charity and Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger. In short, you have shown a
clear pattern of acting with malicious intent.

Regarding the latest article Canadaland is planning, my clients and the executive of WE
Charity and ME to WE have provided your journalist with answers to every question posed,
in detail, supported by facts. They have provided more than 100+ pages of detailed
information to your reporter about the charity and its work. Included in these documents is
detailed information on its activities, policies, HR practices, the accurate nature of its
corporate partnerships, as well as the significant actions it takes to ensure the protection
and safety of the hundreds of thousands young people across Canada who WE Charity is
proud to empower through the programs the charity offers.

Our specific concerns regarding the newest website article you are planning rest on the
specific issues below:

1. My clients have now asked five times for what specific claim(s) will be made in the
article without a proper answer. The e-mail of your journalist on October 5th has
shared that “this is the last set of questions for this article.”Clearly stating a claim is
journalistic best practice, as it allows the organization the opportunity to respond,
including correcting any inaccurate facts or statements. If you were truly interested in
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an accurate article, you would follow this journalist best practice, and the norm of any
publication that holds itself to responsible journalism.

2. In the limited interactions with my clients, based on the questions of your journalist,
he has already stated half a dozen errors in his understanding of the “facts”. (They
are highlighted in the detailed response which has been recently submitted to your
journalist on October 10th). Our concern is that if so many mistakes can be made
through a series of basic questions, we are concerned that the article itself will be,
once again, riddled with inaccuracies. Facts and accuracy of information are both
critical elements of responsible journalism. My clients have now provided your
journalist with accurate data and information on a variety of topics. However, we are
concerned about the consistent lack of attention to detail of your journalist and your
website in your collection and use of facts. There are, for example, serval glaring
errors in his questions that show that your journalist lacks basic understanding or, at
the very least, a lack of attention to important details. An inaccurate reporting of
“facts” could result in significant damage and cause irreparable harm to the good
works of my clients’ organization and the millions of young people we have the
privilege to serve in Canada and around the world.

3. My clients have also taken the step to provide your journalist detailed quotes and
contact details of key people who are familiar with their work. My clients previously
requested if your journalist wanted to have any interviews set up for him, providing a
balanced perspective on important issues, and your journalist did accept this offer.
My clients have, as a result, now pro-actively provided your journalist with this
information, in the hopes that Canadaland will seek to either quote and/or contact
these sources to have a fair and balanced article.
True and fair journalism would be done without bias or malice, in the spirit of wanting to
collect as much information as possible, attention to detail on facts, and allowing fair
opportunity for comment.

Allow us to reiterate the following requests:

A. Request for the basis of claim(s) by your publication, your journalist and/or others:
It is the right of my clients to know, understand and given an opportunity to respond to the
exact nature of any claim(s).

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, Canadaland needs to provide the specific
claims being
made by either your publication and/or your journalist and/or others associated with the
article and my clients need to have the opportunity to respond appropriately. It is reasonable
to provide my clients with a 72-hour window of time to answer any claims. Moreover, they
are provided with adequate context and basis to these claims or accusations, and that any
claim is clear whereby they are not shrouded in innuendo. Refusal shows a lack of
journalistic integrity and that your website has little interest in the truth. It further shows that
you and your team are acting with malice.
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B. Use of Accurate Facts:
We trust that the article of your journalist is not built on opinion, hearsay, or selected quotes.
My client has provided you with clear facts on all topics of your questions.

Facts are important because they provide important content. Based on the questions of your
journalist, we understand that he is likely basing a substantial amount of his research on the
opinion of a small number of people with whom he has spoken. It is important to recognize
that in an organization the size of WE Charity and ME to WE (1,000 staff and 1,200 staff
alumni), there is likely a small minority who might hold divergent views. Similarly, among the
4+ million youth and tens of thousands of educators around the world who participate in the
programs of my clients on an annual basis, there may be a small minority who hold
divergent views.

As a result, it would be irresponsible for your journalist simply to state a person’s opinion(s)
without the larger context of statistics fact, especially when your publication has them readily
available. My clients have shared with your journalist literally dozens of accurate stats and
data points, many of them from independent third parties.

Should your website choose, on purpose, to exclude facts and only to include a person’s
opinion (or that of a small group of people), this would be highly misleading and inaccurate.

Our request is that in the interest of journalistic integrity, your website presents the fullest
information, including the statistics and data which have been provided.

My clients have achieved substantial scale and groundbreaking innovation in the charitable
world. Because of this success, they have encountered similar attempts to “cut them down
to size” over the past 20 plus years by publications which sought to personally benefit. It
would be very unfortunate if you or your team sought to benefit personally by defaming a
well-established, third-party verified, and highly regarded charity and its founders. It is sadly
evident that salacious articles and podcasts increases page views and ‘clicks’, and thus
directly serves your financial interests as the owner of Canadaland website with revenue
generated from advertisements.

I am writing to formally request that Canadaland operate with greater journalistic integrity
and responsibility in any future reporting on WE Charity and/or the Kielburgers.

Furthermore, on a personal note, I would respectfully ask that you, Mr. Brown, consider the
impact of your choices on the mission of a charity that delivers an important service to the
benefit of millions of children and families around the world.

Sincerely yours,

Related Interests