Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Was Going to Be in Trouble over Aga Khan Trip, Dealings: Watchdog

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Was Going to Be in Trouble over Aga Khan Trip, Dealings: Watchdog

Article excerpt

Ethics watchdog grilled on Trudeau violations

--

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was going to find himself in hot water one way or another when he took a trip to the Aga Khan's private island, then later attended a pair of meetings about one of the spiritual leader's projects, the former House of Commons ethics watchdog said Wednesday.

Mary Dawson -- whose final major pronouncement as ethics commissioner was to call the prime minister on the carpet over that ill-advised family trip in December 2016 -- was the star witness Wednesday at a special hearing of the Commons ethics committee, which was looking at the findings in her "Trudeau Report."

Trudeau has long defended the trip on the grounds that the Aga Khan, the super-wealthy spiritual leader of the world's Ismaili Muslims, is a close personal friend.

Dawson, however, concluded that Trudeau couldn't be considered a friend of the wealthy spiritual leader, considering how little the two have interacted over the years -- which meant the trip should be subject to an ethics review.

She said that if Trudeau had asked her for guidance before the trip, she would have likely advised him to vacation somewhere else.

She concluded Trudeau violated four provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act when he and members of his family accepted the trip to the private island, since it could be seen as a gift designed to influence the prime minister. She also found Trudeau should have recused himself from two meetings focused on a $15-million federal grant to the endowment fund of the billionaire philanthropist's Global Centre for Pluralism.

However, Dawson found no evidence that Trudeau used his position to further the Aga Khan's private interest.

If the two were indeed friends, Trudeau would have been in trouble by sitting in on the two meetings, but not for the trip, Dawson told the committee. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.