Trudeau under fire for vacation with Prince Aga Khan in Bahamas

Trudeau says use of Prince Aga Khan's private helicopter wasn't unethical

News Desk January 14, 2017
Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. PHOTO: AFP

Canada's arguably most adored prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is under fire for taking a vacation on Prince Karim Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas.

Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, hosted the Canadian premier and his family at his private island over the New Year. The Canadian premier also used Aga Khan’s private helicopter to get around the Bahamas in an "an apparent violation of federal law and his own rules".

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Trudeau was also accompanied by Liberal MP Seamus O'Reagan and Liberal Party President Anna Gainey, and their respective partners to the Bell Island in Bahamas. The details of Trudeau's winter getaway were revealed by National Post after days of speculation over where the prime minister and his family were on holiday.  The Prime Ministers Office (PMO) told the Toronto Star the information was kept secret to protect the families' privacy.

Trudeau has since gone on the record about the vacation, and admitted to also using the Aga Khan's private helicopter.

Prince Aga Khan who is a long time family friend of the Trudeaus is also a director and chairman of an organisation in Canada that is registered under federal law to lobby the federal government for foreign aid money. Canada's federal laws set out strict rules for the interaction of public office holders, like the premier and lobbyists.


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On Monday, Conservative leadership candidate Andrew Scheer wrote a letter to Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson to ask that she look into whether Trudeau's visit violated conflict of interest rules regarding gifts.

The federal ethics commissioner is now reviewing Trudeau's trip to see if it warrants an official investigation. The Canadian premier said he is "more than happy" to answer any questions the commissioner has on the matter.

Responding to the criticism, the Canadian premier's spokesperson Cameron Ahmad told the BBC, "As was the case with previous prime ministers, when travelling for personal reasons, Trudeau, his family, and any guests travelling with him reimburse an equivalent economy airfare."

However, addressing an uncomfortable press conference on Friday, Trudeau said, "This was our personal family vacation and the questions you're asking, I allow you to reflect on them," he said.

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Last year, the Canadian premier met with the President of the Ismaili Council for Canada Malik Talib and the resident representative of the Aga Khan Development Network Dr Mahmoud Eboo. The three discussed areas of collaboration between the government of Canada and the Ismaili Imamat, according to The Ismaili.

This article originally appeared on BBC.


Ejaz Haider | 5 years ago | Reply Dear Concern, i read the above article about Trudeau under fire for vacation with Prince Aga Khan in Bahamas i think trudeau is not visiting officially this is his personal visit or family tour secondly canadian Government well know Prince Aga khan about his role model about humanity Thank you and long live canada friendship with The prince aga khan. Best Ejaz
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