Prime Minister Trudeau’s “sunny ways” have hit some turbulence over his choice of vacation airline.
The prime minister has admitted to accepting a private flight on a helicopter to the Aga Khan’s private island during the summer.
Trudeau said he saw “no issue” with accepting the flight, and asserted that politics had nothing to do with his vacation.
“This was a personal, family vacation where I visited someone I’ve known pretty much all my life,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister might want to gloss over this whole affair as nothing more than a trip with a family friend. And it’s possible there were no ulterior motives to the Aga Khan’s offer.
No matter what the prime minister says, the law will see things differently. The Aga Khan might be a Trudeau family friend, but he’s also the director and chair of a registered lobbying group. By accepting that helicopter flight, Trudeau broke federal law.
The Conflict of Interest Act, Rule 12 states: “No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary, no member of his or her family and no ministerial adviser or ministerial staff shall accept travel on non-commercial chartered or private aircraft for any purpose.”
The Act goes on to say that this rule can be waived under “exceptional circumstances” or with “prior approval” from the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. Trudeau met neither of those requirements.
This isn’t the first time the prime minister has been criticized for his ethical standards. Trudeau came under fire for attending a cash-for-access dinner with Chinese billionaires in November of last year.
A Nanos poll from December found that 48 per cent of Canadians think these private donors can sway the prime minister. Canadians shouldn’t have to worry that their leader could be bought out by foreign billionaires like China’s Zhang Bin, or the Aga Khan.
Canadians voted for a platform of “Open and Transparent Government.”
What they got instead is a rehash of the Liberal Party of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.