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Justin Trudeau Is Canada's First Prime Minister To Violate Federal Ethics Laws

Justin Trudeau Is Canada's First Prime Minister To Violate Federal Ethics Laws

Canadian conflict of interest laws prohibit officeholders from accepting gifts.

Conflict of interest and ethics commissioner Mary Dawson said Trudeau contravened a rule on gifts when he accepted the use of the island in March and December 2016, while there were ongoing official dealings with the Aga Khan and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada was registered to lobby Trudeau's office. 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. 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.

Trudeau has said he has known the Aga Khan, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini, since childhood. Discussions were also under way over a $15-million federal grant to the endowment fund of the Global Centre for Pluralism, also founded by the Aga Khan.

In response to the question Trudeau said, "The date will not be July 1, I can assure you of that", Trudeau said.

The vacations "could reasonably be seen to have been given to influence Mr. Trudeau in his capacity as prime minister", Dawson said.

"We need to make sure that the office of the prime minister is without reproach and in the future including on (vacations with) family friends and personal family trips, we will be proactively working with the office of the commissioner to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, no appearance of conflict of interest".

But Dawson found that the pair had not spoken privately other than briefly in 2000 at Trudeau's father's funeral, during a span of 30 years prior to 2013. "It seems he believes the rules do not apply to people like him". 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.

"Everyone else has to play within the rules and they're still struggling to get by".

Mr. Cullen said it sounds like Mr. Trudeau was simply looking forward to an "awesome" vacation at someone else's expense.

He added that he and his family would be spending Christmas this year at the prime minister's official retreat at Harrington Lake in Gatineau Park before taking a trip to the Canadian Rockies.

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