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Charity with ties to Trudeau excluding Quebecers from contest

Charity with ties to Trudeau excluding Quebecers from contest
From CBC - November 18, 2017

A high-profile Canadian charity with close ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife is excluding youth from Quebec,Trudeau's home province,from a nationwide contest to win tickets to an event featuring former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.

Plan International Canada (PIC) is organizing the contest to give away 373 pairs of tickets to the event, focused on empowering girls, in Toronto on Nov.28. Tickets range from $500 to $1,000 a person. The event, entitled "The Economics of Equality: Advancing Women and Girls to Change the World," is being organized in conjunction with the Economic Club of Canada.

In order to enter the contest, you have to be between 14 and 24 years old. However, you ca not be aresidentof Quebec.

"The contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec)," the Toronto-based groupspells out in the rules and regulations for the contest, which closed Friday.

A second contest, the Ambassador Challenge, which includes travel,accommodation and a pair of tickets, contains an identical clause.

The French version of PIC's website makes no mention of the contest.

Sophie Grgoire Trudeau participates in numerous events for the charity including a roundtable last month on gender inequity and the barriers that girls face. Justin Trudeau has also taken part in events organized by the group, including allowing a young woman, Breanne Lavallee-Heckert, to follow him for a day in October as part of Plan International's #GirlsBelongHere initiative.

The relationship appears to work for both Trudeau's government and the charityplaying to Trudeau's goal of empowering women while increasing Plan International's profile.

The charity also receives millions of dollars in federal government funding, according to numbers posted on the Canada Revenue Agency's charities section. In its 2016 report, PIC listed $29 million in revenue from the federal government. In 2015, it was $30.6 million. The amount of federal money it received over the years has risen steadily since the $14.6 million it received in 2012the earliest year for which its charitable filings can be consulted online.

The Prime Minister's Office refused to comment, referring all questions to Plan International Canada.

Under Quebec law, most contests must be registered with the provincialagency that oversees gaming and alcohol. However, Joyce Tremblay, spokeswoman for the Rgied'alcohol,descourses etdesjeux, says it never received an application from Plan International Canada.

Tremblay said it approves around 9,000 each year and approval is usually simply "a question of days."

Explanation raises questions

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