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.

Just Posted

KFD, COSAR rescue injured hiker in Kelowna

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail after woman injured her leg

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Free GolfBC Championship hits Kelowna golf course

Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club hosts the Mackenzie Tour June 13

Okanagan FC kicks off regular season Saturday night

OKFC starts their inaugural season of the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) in Penticton

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Trail played role during fur trade era

Fur Brigade Trail in Okanagan has long history

Most Read