Aga Khan: the NDP demand an emergency meeting of the ethics committee

News 22 December, 2017
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    Nathan Cullen

    Maxime Huard

    Friday, 22 December, 2017 15:10

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    OTTAWA – In the wake of the report showing that the prime minister Justin Trudeau has violated the Law on conflict of interests during her vacation at the home of the Aga Khan last year, the New democratic Party (NDP) request an emergency meeting of the ethics committee of the House of commons.

    The spokesman for the new democrat ethics, Nathan Cullen, has written to the chairman of the committee on Thursday to convene a meeting before the January 8, the date of end of mandate of the ethics commissioner Mary Dawson.

    Mr. Cullen asks that the committee to hear the commissioner. “It is essential that the meeting be held before the [January 8], so that the committee members had the chance to review her report while she is still an agent of Parliament”, he wrote in his letter to the conservative Bob Zimmer.

    After an investigation of several months, Mary Dawson, has filed on Wednesday its report to Trudeau. It concludes that the prime minister of Canada has breached four articles of the Law on conflict of interest when he stayed on the private island of the Aga Khan, of 26 December 2016 to 4 January last.

    Following the publication of the report, the prime minister has been forced to apologize. “In the future, I’m going to approve all my family holidays by the office of the commissioner,” said Justin Trudeau, Wednesday.

    The prime minister has always denied having acted improperly in pointing out that the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the ismaili community, was a personal friend. This claim was contradicted by the commissioner in his report.

    For the NDP, the apologies of Mr. Trudeau are insufficient. If the prime minister not to expose him to any penalty, he should at least reimburse the public expenditure of more than $ 200,000 in transport and security related to the trip.

    “He has broken the law. Normally, when people take something that they should not take, and violate the law in doing so, they reimburse the cost at a minimum. The prime minister took a free trip that he would never have had to take,” said mp Nathan Cullen.

    The NDP will be asked in January 2018 changes in the law, for such breaches of the law with penalties.

    The conservative mp Peter Kent came out in several media to claim also a refund of travel expenses by Justin Trudeau.

    In the evening, Friday, the conservatives have confirmed to the Journal de Montreal they asked for, also to Justin Trudeau to refund his journey at the Aga Khan.