PM Trudeau broke ethics rules by accepting vacation with Aga Khan

21 December, 2017, 01:36 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Pages - Ethics Commissioner reports on investigation involving Prime Minister

THE Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson on Wednesday announced that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated conflict of interest rules in relation to vacations on a private island owned by the Aga Khan. The Conflict of Interest Act came into force in 2006, under former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Travelling on a non-commercial aircraft, chartered by the Aga Khan.

Mary Dawson released a scathing report on Wednesday into Mr Trudeau's trips.

Trudeau apologized for the ethics violations, telling reporters "I'm sorry" for the "mistake".

Trudeau contravened another section of the act when he didn't recuse himself from discussions that "provided an opportunity to improperly further the private interest associated with one of the institutions of the Aga Khan", Dawson said in the report.

The commissioner said that Trudeau and his family vacationed at the private island twice, once in December 2014, and then the 2016 holiday trip in question. The first of these trips was in December 2014, and the second in December 2016.

On CTV's Power Play, O'Regan told host Don Martin that he will let the prime minister's comments on the commissioner's report stand.

"I had a lot of hope in this government, I had a lot of hope in this prime minister", he said.

Dawson's report revealed other guests, including a senior American official of a previous administration, and friends of those other guests, were also present. Trudeau had publicly confirmed they were taken there by the Aga Khan's private helicopter. "Moving forward, we will be behaving differently".

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While recapping the latest trip to the private island, Trudeau said the families exchanged gifts and added that most of the families' interactions happened over meals and were personal in nature.

The only exception is if the person providing the gift is a friend, but Dawson said that exception didn't apply in this case of the Aga Khan, a philanthropist and hereditary spiritual leader to the world's approximately 15 million Ismaili Muslims.

For Christmas that year, the Prime Minister and his family visited the Aga Khan's private island at the Bahamas.

The Aga Khan and the Aga Khan Foundation were registered to lobby Trudeau at the time of the Bahamian vacation.

The Aga Khan's foundation has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the Canadian government to promote development and other projects in several countries. We need to make sure that the office of the prime minister is without reproach'.

Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson says in a report today that Trudeau's vacation a year ago broke conflict of interest law that prohibits a minister or any member of their family from accepting gifts or "advantages" that could reasonably be seen as influencing government decisions. Her responsibility is to protect the integrity of the office. Some of the allegations of rule infractions referenced in those complaints were deemed not broken. On Wednesday, political rival Andrew Scheer - leader of Canada's Conservative Party - tweeted his disapproval of the prime minister's conduct.

"There seems to be two worlds", he said.

The breach is the first ever by a sitting Canadian prime minister, but carries with it no sanctions.


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