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RCMP never contacted Trudeau regarding ethics-violating vacay to Aga Khan’s island: report

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The RCMP admitted to not contacting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on yet another scandal, media reports allege — this time, an unsanctioned vacation paid for by federal contractor and billionaire, Aga Khan.

The Trudeaus vacationed at Khan’s Bahamian retreat in December 2016, even though he had millions of dollars in dealings with the federal government. The Aga Khan Foundation Canada has received nearly $330 million from the federal government since 1981, reported The Globe and Mail.

In 2017, the Prime Minister breached the Conflict Of Interest Act for accepting a $215,000 vacation from a federal contractor, Aga Khan, according to then-ethics commissioner Mary Dawson.

But the RCMP decided in 2022 not to charge Trudeau with fraud over his family’s vacation because they could not ascertain if he had the authority to approve the gift for himself, reported The Western Standard.

“However, based on RCMP documents obtained and Trudeau’s own admissions, it appears the criteria have been met to lay criminal charges of fraud on the government,” Conservative MP Michael Barrett said on Tuesday. 

Rebel News attempted to contact the federal police service to clarify the matter but did not receive a response at the time of writing.

Documents obtained by the Conservative Party under a 2022 access to information request said the RCMP decided not to charge Trudeau with fraud over the ordeal. The police service said they lacked clarity in federal rules that apply to accepting gifts.

Because Trudeau is the head of government, the RCMP said, “it cannot be definitely determined whether or not Mr. Trudeau can simply provide consent to himself.”

“It is unclear whether Mr. Trudeau can be prosecuted under Section 121(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, since the section has a provision which allows officials to accept benefits from individuals with government dealings, provided the official has the written consent of the head of their branch of government,” reads the access to information documents.

The police service had “reasonable grounds” to think fraud may have been committed, but decided not to lay charges, claiming it was not in the public interest, reported The Globe.

“The RCMP said the Prime Minister was off the hook because he could have granted himself permission to accept the luxurious vacation gift worth $215,000,” said then-Conservative ethics critic James Bezan.

“The only reason the RCMP didn’t charge him was because he is the Prime Minister,” he told MPs. “So, there is one law for the Prime Minister and another law for all the rest of us.”

The RCMP concluded its investigation on September 25, 2019, claiming they had “insufficient evidence to proceed” with criminal charges.

Trudeau recently defended another gifted vacation to Jamaica amid calls for an ethics inquiry by Opposition MPs. From December 26 to January 4, the Prime Minister received an all-exclusive stay at a luxury resort free of charge.

Prospect Estate and Villa, owned by family friend and Trudeau Foundation donor Peter Green, gifted the Trudeaus roughly $84,000 in accommodations. It is also well known that Khan was a friend to the late-prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

Canada’s head of state appeared unbothered by criticism of the most recent trip, amid a Commons vote last month to compel testimony by the ethics commissioner on the rules around gifts, vacation and travel in the Conflict of Interest Act.

Ultimately, the Commons ethics committee voted 7-3 against disclosing internal emails and correspondence regarding the Jamaica trip, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. Liberal, Bloc Québécois and New Democrat MPs rejected the motion for documents. 

“All the rules were followed,” Trudeau clarified when asked about the ethics of his extravagant vacations.

While the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the ethics commissioner had cleared his most recent trip in advance, Conservative MPs remain unconvinced.

“This isn’t a question about a prime minister being deserving of a vacation or anyone being deserving of a vacation,” said Barrett. “The question is, was the ethics commissioner deceived or misled in any way?”

“The Prime Minister’s Office said the ethics commissioner cleared the vacation,” he continued. “The ethics commissioner has since said that is not a function they provide.”

“They don’t pre-clear vacations,” added Barrett. 

MPs did not oppose calls for testimony by the ethics commissioner, reported the National Post — they just did not agree on disclosing correspondence surrounding the trip.

The commissioner’s office clarified it cannot disclose information that public officeholders divulge to the commissioner.

Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, said he does not think it will. “There’s nothing in the act that [Trudeau] violated,” he said. “There’s no requirement to be honest, even when seeking advice. So that’s just another flaw in the act.”



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