Trudeau's lavish vacation broke ethics rules

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke the federal ethics act when he vacationed at the Aga Khan's private island, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has ruled.

While Trudeau says the Aga Khan is a family friend, Dawson found the exception for gifts from friends did not apply.

He added that he and his family would be spending Christmas this year at the prime minister's official retreat at Harrington Lake in Gatineau Park before taking a trip to the Canadian Rockies.

Dawson said the Aga Khan and his foundation were registered to lobby and Justin Trudeau didn't properly recuse himself on two occasions in May 2016 from government meetings about a 15 million Canadian dollar grant to the endowment fund of the Global Centre for Pluralism, where the Aga Khan is chairman of the board.

"Because there was ongoing official business between the government of Canada and the Aga Khan at the time each invitation was accepted, Mr. Trudeau, as Prime Minister, was in a position to be able to advance some of the matters of interest to the Aga Khan", Dawson said.

"The date will not be July 1, I can assure you of that", Trudeau said.

Dawson also found that when his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, a friend, and their children vacationed on the island in March 2016, conflict of interest rules were broken when they accepted privately charted air travel from the Aga Khan.

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"Obviously there was a mistake", he said.

Trudeau has repeatedly called the Aga Khan a longtime family friend who was a pallbearer at his father's funeral. "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 and his family were joined on the December 2016 trip by Liberal MP and now Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan and his husband; as well as Liberal Party president Anna Gainey and her husband. "We need to make sure that the office of the prime minister is without reproach", Trudeau said.

He said he still consider the Aga Khan a "close family friend" but will abide by the Commissioner's findings and adjust his dealings with him in the future.

In his scrum with reporters Wednesday, Trudeau did not attempt to downplay Dawson's findings, noting that accountability is critical for ensuring Canadians' trust in democratic institutions.

In his interview with the commissioner, Trudeau accounted for the decades-long gap in communication because he felt he "had yet achieved a level of success or attained a level of authority or responsibility that would allow him to have a peer-to-peer relationship with the Aga Khan". Mr. Trudeau was well aware, given his previous stay on the island in 2014, that private transportation was needed to reach the Aga Khan's private island.

And she found the PM should have found alternatives to using the Aga Khan's private aircraft to travel between Nassau and his island.