OTTAWA — Opposition parties are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to repay all or part of the transportation and security costs for a Christmas vacation to the Aga Khan’s private Bahamian island last year — which left taxpayers on the hook for more than $200,000.
Conservative ethics critic Peter Kent says Trudeau owes it to Canadians to pay the bill after ethics commissioner Mary Dawson found the prime minister violated four different provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act when he and members of his family accepted the trip last December.
Dawson concluded that the vacation could reasonably be seen as a gift designed to influence the prime minister, whose government has had official dealings with the Aga Khan, a billionaire philanthropist and spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims, and his charitable foundation.
NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen is also urging Trudeau to pay the tab for the trip.
Moreover, Cullen says the fact that Dawson has no power to penalize Trudeau, other than by publicly shaming him, demonstrates that the Conflict of Interest Act needs to be strengthened — something his party will be pushing for in the new year.
A spokesperson for the prime minister says Trudeau reimbursed the cost of his and his family’s flights to and from Nassau but would not disclose the precise tab.