29 November 2016

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation has been in the news over the last week regarding a donation. We have limited our communications on this to answering media queries and correcting reporting errors. What follows are the key facts.

Key facts:

  • The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister by his family, friends, and colleagues. In 2002, with the support of the House of Commons, the Government of Canada endowed the Foundation with the Advanced Research in the Humanities and Human Sciences Fund.
  • The Foundation's activities are the same now as when its mandate was first established: namely, granting doctoral scholarships, awarding fellowships, appointing mentors, and holding public events to encourage critical reflection and action in four areas important to Canadians: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada’s role in the world, and people and their natural environment.
  • The Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal informed the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in January 2014 of the interest of Mr. Bin Zhang and Mr. Niu Gensheng to honour the late Prime Minister.
  • The first meeting with Mr. Zhang, Mr. Gensheng, representatives of Université de Montréal, and staff of The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation to discuss the possibility of a donation took place in September 2014, when we discussed Mr. Zhang and Mr. Gensheng’s interest in making a gift to the Université de Montréal and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and explored the form that such a gift might take.
  • Negotiations between the potential donors, the Université de Montréal, and the Foundation continued over the next year and a half.
  • A public ceremony at which the parties signed the donation agreement took place at the Université de Montréal on 1 June 2016.
  • Mr. Zhang and Mr. Gensheng’s $1 million gift to the Faculty of Law of Université de Montréal and The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is split in three parts:
    • $750,000 to the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law for the Fonds sino-canadien des bourses d’études Bin Zhang-Niu Gensheng
    • $50,000 to the Université de Montréal to commission and install a statue honouring Pierre Elliott Trudeau at the Faculty of Law
    • $200,000 to The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation for conferences and similar events (see next)
  • The $200,000 donation to The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation will be paid in three instalments:
    • 2016-07-01: $70,000 (received in August 2016)
    • 2017-07-01: $70,000
    • 2018-07-01: $60,000
  • The gift was announced in our September 2016 newsletter.
  • The purpose of Mr. Zhang and Mr. Gensheng’s gift to the Foundation is to support conferences and similar events that the Foundation will organize starting in 2017. More specifically, the events will aim to generate informed and lively debate on major issues of public policy affecting global society, including Canada and China.
  • The topic of these events will be chosen by the Foundation, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal.

The following CBC News article shows how the story has been evolving: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pierre-elliott-trudeau-foundation-questions-1.3868049.  

We thank you for your support, and ask that you kindly direct any questions to the Foundation.

Morris Rosenberg, C.M. 
President and Chief Executive Officer

Morris Rosenberg

President and Chief Executive Officer

2014 Team