Justin Trudeau Is In Big Trouble After Violating Canada's Ethics Code
21 December, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Katrina Soto
She also found Trudeau contravened the part of the act when he didn't recuse himself from private meetings with the spiritual leader in May 2016 about a $15-million grant to the endowment fund of the Aga Khan's Global Centre for Pluralism.
The Aga Khan, a prominent philanthropist, has business ties with the Canadian government and there was "ongoing official business between the Government of Canada and the Aga Khan at the time each invitation was accepted", Dawson found.
She found that Trudeau contravened sections 5, 11, 12 and 21 of the Conflict of Interest Act but that he did not contravene subsection 14 (1) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, or subsection 6 (1) or section 7 of the Act.
"It's really important to ensure the integrity of the office, including interactions with the Aga Khan on a professional, ceremonial level", he said.
Dawson concluded that this did not suggest that "Mr. Trudeau and the Aga Khan were seeking to fulfil [sic.] opportunities to spend private time together as friends".
"I'm sorry I didn't, and in the future I'll be clearing all family vacations with the Commissioner's office", he wrote, adding that he "always considered the Aga Khan a close family friend", leading him to decide it was not necessary to formally clear the trip.
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"Justin Trudeau said that when he and the Aga Khan saw each other at his father's funeral in 2000, they hugged and he felt an instant re-connection and an instant closeness". In Dec. 2014 and 2016, Mr. Trudeau and his family went to the Aga Khan's residence. The vacations are gifts under the conflict of interest regimes that Dawson administers.
"Obviously there was a mistake", he said.
Trudeau says he has known the Aga Khan, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini, since childhood.
The Canadian foundation of the Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader, the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada, receives tens of millions of dollars a year from the Canadian government for worldwide development work.
In his interview with the commissioner, Trudeau accounted for the decades-long gap in communication because he felt he "had yet achieved a level of success or attained a level of authority or responsibility that would allow him to have a peer-to-peer relationship with the Aga Khan".
Her findings were long anticipated, after the Conservatives filed formal complaints with her office. "Mr. Trudeau said it was as if no time had passed", the report said.
Mary Dawson said in a report that Trudeau broke conflict of interest laws that prohibit a minister from accepting gifts or advantages that could reasonably be seen as influencing government decisions. Since 1981, the federal government has contributed nearly $330 million to projects supported by his foundation.
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