Politics

Conservatives demand Trudeau appear before ethics committee after Aga Khan vacation

The Conservatives are demanding the prime minister answer more questions about his law breaking vacation on the Aga Khan's island.

'Extraordinary meeting' called for Tuesday to discuss inviting prime minister to answer questions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question from the media in the foyer of the House of Commons following the release of a report that found he violated some provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act when he vacationed on a private island owned by the Aga Khan last year. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The Conservatives are demanding the prime minister answer more questions about his ethics-code breaking vacation on the Aga Khan's island.

A meeting will be held next Tuesday to discuss whether the government's ethics committee should invite Justin Trudeau to testify before its members.

The gathering comes at the request of Conservative ethics critic Peter Kent, who made the demand for an "extraordinary meeting" in a letter to Bob Zimmer, the Conservative chair of the House of Commons committee on access to information, privacy and ethics.

"I believe the findings in The Trudeau Report clearly warrant the extension of such an invitation to the prime minister," Kent wrote.

The Trudeau Report

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson found that Trudeau breached multiple aspects of the federal ethics code by accepting a vacation on the spiritual leader's island during the 2016 holiday season.

Dawson's detailed analysis, called The Trudeau Report, was released just before Christmas 2017.

A Conservative source says there are two main reasons why the Tories want to hear more from Trudeau, who held a lengthy news conference on the day the report was released.

The source says they want to find out who else was on the island at the time of Trudeau's vacation, and if the prime minister will reimburse taxpayers for the full cost of the trip.

CBC News has previously reported that John Kerry, who was the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, was also a guest on the Aga Khan's island during Trudeau's vacation.

Conservative ethics critic Peter Kent is asking for an 'extraordinary meeting' of the House of Commons committee on access to information, privacy and ethics. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

As for the more than $200,000 price tag for security and transportation, the Prime Minister's Office has previously said Trudeau has already reimbursed the commercial cost of flights for him and his family, which is standard practice.

Kent would like to hear from Trudeau by the end of the month, requesting the Prime Minister appear on either Jan. 17 or 18, more than a week before the House resumes sitting.

But, it is unclear how far the Conservatives will get in their quest to even invite Trudeau to a meeting.

While a Conservative is the chair of the ethics committee, the Liberals hold a majority of the seats.

Still, the demand is an example of the line of questioning and attacks Trudeau will face from the opposition heading into the next sitting of Parliament.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.