Trudeau Vacation Broke Ethics Rules, Canadian Commissioner Says

Trudeau Vacation Broke Ethics Rules, Canadian Commissioner Says

Trudeau Vacation Broke Ethics Rules, Canadian Commissioner Says

Trudeau was responding to a report by federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson, who concluded that the Prime Minister was in violation of conflict of interest rules last Christmas when he holidayed with the Aga Khan at his private island.

Dawson found that besides the post-Christmas trip, Trudeau had also accepted a vacation on the island for himself and his family in December 2014, and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau set up a trip to the island in March 2016 with a friend of hers and their children. "Mary Dawson said in a report Wednesday that Trudeau's vacation broke conflict of interest laws that prohibits a minister from accepting gifts or 'advantages" that could reasonably be seen as influencing government decisions.

- No public office holder or member of his or her family shall accept any gift or other advantage, including from a trust, that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence the public office holder in the exercise of an official power, duty or function.

The only exception is if the person providing the gift is a friend, but Dawson says that exception didn't apply in this case because Trudeau and the Aga Khan's friendship only blossomed after the prime minister became Liberal leader.

Ms. Dawson rejected the Prime Minister's assertion that the free flights to the island did not violate the rules because of the "exceptional circumstances" related to the secluded nature of the residence.

She rejected Mr. Trudeau's assertion that the Aga Khan was a long-time family friend, despite the fact they have known each other for decades.

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In response to the question Trudeau said, "The date will not be July 1, I can assure you of that", Trudeau said. I still consider him a family friend, ' Trudeau said.

Still, Mr. Trudeau said he felt a close link when he saw the Aga Khan in 2000. "While it may have been typical for guests of the Aga Khan to use his helicopter to reach the island, Mr. Trudeau knew that travel by helicopter was not the only means of transportation to the island", she said.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's tropical island vacations and the private aircraft that got him there have landed him in hot water.

Moreover, she says Trudeau didn't properly recuse himself on two occasions in May 2016 from private meetings about the Aga Khan and a $15-million grant to the billionaire philanthropist's endowment fund of the Global Centre for Pluralism. Her responsibility is to protect the integrity of the office. "We need to make sure that the office of the prime minister is without reproach", Trudeau said.

Dawson said Aga Khan developed a friendship with Trudeau's father in the late 1960s but is not a friend of the current president.

Aside from having it on the public record that the prime minister broke federal conflict of interest rules, it is not anticipated that Trudeau will face any penalties for these infractions. She is also probing Finance Minister Bill Morneau's possible conflict of interest over his sponsorship of pension bill, C-27.

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