Justin Trudeau Is Canada's First Prime Minister To Violate Federal Ethics Laws
22 December, 2017, 02:11 | Author: Kim Reid
There is an exception in the Act for gifts or other advantages from relatives and friends, but it did not apply in this case, as the Commissioner determined that Mr. Trudeau and the Aga Khan can not be characterized as friends within the meaning of the Act.
Basically, if Trudeau wasn't Prime Minister, he probably wouldn't be so chummy with the Aga Khan, so it's not a true "friendship".
"During the planning for the December, 2016 trip, the Trudeaus were informed that the Aga Khan and his family may or may not be present", the report said.
"The Prime Minister should consider making good on a significant part or perhaps all of the $215,000 in security costs, in staffing costs, in technical costs, in Prime Minister's Office support costs - financed with hard-earned Canadian taxpayer dollars", Mr. Kent said in an interview. It was Trudeau's wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, who contacted the Aga Khan's daughter about vacationing on the island in March 2016 and then over Christmas previous year.
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"Everyone else has to play within the rules and they're still struggling to get by".
The outgoing ethics commissioner's long-awaited report suggests that Trudeau could have avoided this outcome had he come to her before going on the trip that began on December 26, 2016. As he defended his all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas earlier this year, Mr. Trudeau's stock answer was that he had simply been paying a visit to his friend. Section 12 prohibits ministers and their family members from accepting travel on non-commercial chartered or private aircraft for any goal unless required in their capacity as public office holders, in exceptional circumstances or with the prior approval of the Commissioner. Trudeau has publicly confirmed they were taken there by the Aga Khan's private helicopter.
The prime minister also violated the rules by accepting accommodations on the private island by someone who is registered to lobby his office, travelling on non-commercial aircraft charted by the Aga Khan, and not recusing himself from discussions that provided an opportunity to further the Aga Khan's interests, Dawson added.
Mr. Cullen said it sounds like Mr. Trudeau was simply looking forward to an "awesome" vacation at someone else's expense. She found, however, that Mr. Trudeau did contravene the rule on gifts or other advantages set out in section 11 of the Act.
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"For these reasons, I determined that the vacations accepted by Mr. Trudeau or his family might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence Mr. Trudeau". The Aga Khan, the title held by the leader of the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam, was a pallbearer at the funeral of Justin's father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. She concludes that he failed to follow his own ethics rules for cabinet ministers and that he should have been more careful to arrange his affairs as prime minister to avoid potential conflicts.
The breach is the first ever by a sitting Canadian prime minister, but carries with it no sanctions.
Trudeau told reporters he accepted the findings of the report and that he took "full responsibility" for the mistake.
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