Trudeau Vacation Broke Ethics Rules, Canadian Commissioner Says

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under investigation for a vacation he took at the Aga Khan's island past year, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson said in a news release on Wednesday.

Mr Trudeau promised on Wednesday to clear all future vacations with the ethics office.

And she found the PM should have found alternatives to using the Aga Khan's private aircraft to travel between Nassau and his island. Trudeau had publicly confirmed they were taken there by the Aga Khan's private helicopter.

In what Dawson titled: "The Trudeau Report", she looked at Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, which he is subject to as an MP, as well as the Conflict of Interest Act which applies to him as prime minister. She made a determination that he is not a family friend.

The commissioner said that Trudeau and his family vacationed at the private island twice, once in December 2014, and then the 2016 holiday trip in question.

Not recusing himself from discussions that had the potential to further the Aga Khan's interests. The vacations are gifts under the conflict of interest regimes that Dawson administers.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said while he accepts Trudeau's apology, it'sunfortunate it took a year for the issue to come to a close. "It seems he believes the rules do not apply to people like him".

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"What we've learned today is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has broken the law, there is no other way to put it but that he has broken the law with respect to ethics".

To begin with, he failed to arrange his private affairs in a way that there wouldn't be any conflicts of interest.

She found, however, that Trudeau did contravene the rule on gifts or other advantages set out in section 11 of the Act. Section 12 prohibits ministers and their family members from accepting travel on non-commercial chartered or private aircraft for any goal unless required in their capacity as public office holders, in exceptional circumstances or with the prior approval of the Commissioner.

Her office said while the act provides for administrative monetary penalties, they "are not relevant in this case".

Mary Dawson released a scathing report on Wednesday into Mr Trudeau's trips. Her term, which was extended several times, expires next month.

There is an exception in the Act for gifts or other advantages from relatives and friends, but it did not apply in this case, as the Commissioner determined that Trudeau and the Aga Khan can not be characterized as friends within the meaning of the Act. He was an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of Mr Trudeau's father, Pierre. "However, there were no private interactions between Mr. Trudeau and the Aga Khan until Mr. Trudeau became Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada", the report states.

Trudeau apologized for the incident and said in a tweet that it was "very clear I should have cleared my family vacation & dealings with the Aga Khan in advance".

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