Milbank LLP Litigation & Arbitration partner Tawfiq S. Rangwala authored What We Lost: Inside the Attack on Canada’s Largest Children’s Charity, a new investigative book addressing the “WE Charity Scandal” that gripped Canadian politics and media during the Covid pandemic.
Upon its global release, the book quickly became a national best seller in Canada.
It contains a foreword by former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell and the audiobook version is narrated by civil rights activist Martin Luther King III.
Published by Optimum International, What We Lost provides a behind-the-scenes account of the rise and fall of WE Charity, a Canada-based non-profit focused on youth empowerment programs and international development work. In 2020, WE Charity became embroiled in a political scandal that almost brought down the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and resulted in one of the longest parliamentary ethics inquiries in Canadian history. In the end, WE Charity was forced to close in Canada.
A former board member of WE Charity, Mr. Rangwala stepped down from his role to write the book and offer perspective on the events that took place.
“I felt compelled to combine my experience as a lawyer with my insights as a former board member to pull back the curtain on the WE Charity scandal,” said Mr. Rangwala. “This role required a great deal of responsibility, and my goal was to use an evidence-based approach to present facts and context. There is so much confusion about WE Charity and the scandal—I wanted to cut through the fog. I am thrilled to share with readers the fruits of my investigation.”
In his examination of the scandal and the public narrative surrounding it, Mr. Rangwala draws on his legal expertise in conducting sensitive internal investigations, working with forensic accountants and experts focused on following the money, and engaging in crisis management. Mr. Rangwala calls out the saddest and most shocking part of the story—the lack of attention and media coverage devoted to those most directly affected by the fall of WE Charity, the young people and educators that had been its key beneficiaries. He also discusses how the scandal is a cautionary tale—for Canadians and those around the world—about the potential collateral consequences of hyper-partisanship and unchecked social media narratives.
At Milbank, Mr. Rangwala focuses on defense of institutions and individuals facing investigations by criminal and regulatory government authorities, conducting internal investigations across multiple jurisdictions and industries, and civil litigation and arbitration of a wide range of commercial disputes. He is also Chair of the Firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. In recognition of his significant work on pro bono matters addressing systemic discrimination and injustices in criminal cases, Chambers & Partners named Mr. Rangwala Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2021.
In the foreword to What We Lost, Kim Campbell writes: “The WE Charity Scandal is a story of how misinformation can take on a life of its own. The results were tragic, and the hardest hit were young people.”
More information about What We Lost can be found at What We Lost.
The views contained in What We Lost are those of the author and not those of Milbank or its clients. Milbank has previously represented WE Charity in matters unrelated to Mr. Rangwala’s service on the board of WE Charity or this book.