Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday December 21, 2017
Trudeau violated multiple conflict laws when he accepted a family holiday to Aga Khan’s island
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated ethics rules in accepting vacations to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas, according to parliament’s conflict of interest watchdog.
Conflict of Interest Commissioner Mary Dawson said Trudeau broke multiple conflict laws in accepting a family vacation at Bells Cay in December 2016.
And in a report released Wednesday, she faulted the prime minister for hitching a ride on the Aga Khan’s private helicopter to get to the island.
Trudeau knew well the extent of the Aga Khan’s official dealings with the federal government and that should have been a red flag, Dawson wrote.
“Mr. Trudeau failed to arrange his private affairs in a manner that would prevent him from being placed in a conflict of interest. Neither Mr. Trudeau nor his family should have vacationed on the Aga Khan’s private island,” she said.
In a hastily called press conference in the House of Commons Wednesday, a contrite Trudeau apologized and said he will be clearing all future personal travel with the ethics commissioner.
“(The report) makes it very clear I should have taken precautions and cleared my family vacation and dealings with the Aga Khan in advance,” Trudeau told reporters.
“I’m sorry I didn’t.”
He told reporters that he because he viewed the Aga Khan as a friend – even though Dawson stated they rarely talked – he didn’t think the free vacation would be a conflict, saying that he sought a location where he could enjoy “quality family time.”
“On this issue of a family vacation with a personal friend, it wasn’t considered that there would be an issue there. Obviously, obviously, there was a mistake,” he said. (Source: Toronto Star)