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

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

B.C. residents can go to the Royal BC Museum for half price all summer

Museum reopening in phases, COVID-19 measures in place

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Most Read