Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as he meets with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservatives seek criminal investigation of Trudeau’s trips to Aga Khan’s island

Trudeau’s family visited the private retreat of the Aga Khan, a billionaire philanthropist, on three occasions

The federal Conservatives want the RCMP to look into whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke the law by accepting family vacations on the Aga Khan’s private Caribbean island.

In a letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, Conservative MP Peter Kent says a thorough investigation should be conducted to ensure Canadians have confidence in the integrity of government.

Kent’s 26-page letter notes that members of Trudeau’s family visited the private retreat of the Aga Khan, a billionaire philanthropist, on three occasions from 2014 to 2017.

In December 2017, then-federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson found Trudeau contravened four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act in relation to a Christmas 2016 stay on the island, saying the holiday could reasonably be seen as a gift designed to influence the prime minister.

In his letter, Kent cites a Criminal Code provision that prohibits a government official from accepting a benefit of any kind from someone who has dealings with the government.

Dawson’s report said the federal government had supported projects of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada by contributing nearly $330 million to initiatives in various countries.

The government also regularly consulted foundation representatives on current and emerging development trends and priorities, she noted.

READ MORE: Trudeau ducks chatting about trip to Aga Khan’s island

Following Dawson’s 2017 findings, opposition parties argued Trudeau should refund the treasury for all or part of the transportation and security costs related to the Christmas 2016 trip.

Trudeau acknowledged at the time he should have checked with the ethics commissioner’s office before accepting the holiday, and said he would now clear all family vacations with the commissioner.

“I’ve always considered the Aga Khan a close family friend, which is why I didn’t clear this family trip in the first place, but given the commissioner’s report, I will be taking all precautions in the future.”

Chantal Gagnon, a spokeswoman for the prime minister, said Thursday that Kent’s letter was “nothing more than a public relations stunt by the Conservatives.”

In September 2017, then-lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd said there was no basis to a complaint that the Aga Khan violated the code for lobbyists by allowing Trudeau and his family to stay on the island.

However, a Federal Court judge recently ordered Shepherd’s successor, Nancy Belanger, to take a fresh look at the matter.

The court said that as a board member of the foundation, the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims was directly and legally connected to the organization bearing his name and was acting as its representative in giving a gift to the prime minister.

Ottawa is contesting the ruling in the Federal Court of Appeal.

READ MORE: B.C. taking Alberta to court over ‘turn off the taps’ gas legislation

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Golden’s pool to not open for 2020 season due to COVID

The tough decision was made on June 2 after council was presented with a variety of scenarios

Golden to host “Unity for the People” march in solidarity with George Floyd protests

The march will seek to educate the community on local and national injustices.

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

Most Read