Mr. Richard Martineau: “The business of charity” [“La business de la charité”]

Once again, here is a sarcastic article by Mr. Richard Martineau (Journal de Montréal):

This piece was published before the latest update from Ottawa about the WE Charity’s unfolding saga: (1). Mr. Trudeau will finally testify in front of the Ethics Committee and (2). Mr. Morneau (Canada’s Minister of Finance) wrote a cheque in payment to the WE Charity of $41,366 today (before his testimony). He said that he “forgot” to pay this bill to cover some of the costs of a family vacation with the WE Charity ( As reported by Mr. Lilley in the Toronto Sun, “it was also unclear if the expenses were related to a trip his wife and daughter took with WE to Kenya the summer of 2017, one the family took to Ecuador around Christmas 2017, or both” (

OK, keeping this in mind, here is quick translation of Mr. Martineau’s article:

“To be successful in business, you must be able to seize all the opportunities available to you.

Guess what people want before they know it themselves.

Anticipate the waves, the fashions.


Is COVID starting to take its toll? Make masks!

Veggie fashion got the wind in its sails? Make fake meat with plants or turkey-shaped tofu blocks for Christmas!

Is crime on the rise? Hire guard dogs and security systems!

You have to guess what products and services people will be ready to buy in two or three months.

It could be Internet series, electric taxis or the digital radio.

In recent years, there has been a boom in the charity industry.

You will tell me: but what do charities sell?

Simple: good conscience.

Modern man, you see, has a bad conscience. He watches TV, reads the newspapers, and feels guilty.

To have money, to be healthy, to screw up the environment, to exploit the third world, to be sexist, racist, homophobic, grossophobic, transphobic, etc.

There are plenty of opportunities to feel guilty.

Before, when we had a bad conscience, we went to see the priest. One “Hail Mary” and two “Our Father”, and suddenly we had our conscience.

The confessional was a kind of car wash for the soul. Ten minutes, and the job was done.

You came out cleansed, shining. Ready to sin again.

Today there are charities.

You feel bad? Privileged? Guilty?

A check, and you can finally sleep easy.

The squeegees even offer drive-thru, if you don’t have time to write a check for the United Way.

A little two, a smile, and you feel like you’ve saved, if not the world, at least your soul.


Of course, there are a lot of people of good faith in the charity. People with their hearts in the right place.

But there are also opportunists. Who smelled the good deal.

Instead of getting into green tea or CrossFit, they got into the charity business.

Which brings us to WE, our friend Justin’s favorite charity.

Do you remember, “I give contracts to your mother, brother and wife, and you give me $43.5 million”?

The WE Charity owns $50 million in real estate.

Fifty million!

And wait, that’s not all, this “charitable” organization has two components: a non-profit component and a for-profit component.

According to the National Post, which keeps releasing juicy scoops on this organization, a lot of money goes between the nonprofit (that is, your donations) and the profit (their pockets).

This is called “being in business”.

Some of Justin’s friends got richer thanks to the marijuana legalization. The bosses of WE, on the other hand, are riding the wave of compassion-show and the culture of apology.

Two great legacies of our PM.”

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