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

Short bench for tournament host Queens

Rebuiling year sees club wind up seventh

Town selling the airport to Ponoka Flying Club

Agreement is for 25 years with option to buy back

RCMP on hunt for man who has skipped court

Public urged to call 911 if they spot him

Update: Local bull riders help Canada to fourth at PBR Global Cup

Lambert, Hansen manage to earn two of Canadian team’s good rides

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Portrait of the Coastal GasLink, a pipeline to divide a nation

In mid-February, 46 per cent of the pipeline route had been cleared

Alberta ends master agreement with doctors, new rules to be in place April 1

The current master agreement with physicians ends March 31

Alberta rail conductor fired for social media posts awarded money, but not reinstatement

Arbitrator Richard Hornung says that he agreed with the Teamsters union

Kids exposed to household cleaners as newborns more likely to get asthma: study

Air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners were the worst culprits

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Most Read