As her party scolded Trudeau, Ambrose vacationed on billionaire's yacht -

As her party scolded Trudeau, Ambrose vacationed on billionaire’s yacht

Rona Ambrose took a Caribbean vacation on a billionaire’s yacht as her caucus criticized Justin Trudeau for vacationing on Aga Khan’s private island

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose gestures while speaking to delegates during the 2016 Conservative Party Convention in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday May 26, 2016. (DARRYL DYCK/CP)

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose gestures while speaking to delegates during the 2016 Conservative Party Convention in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday May 26, 2016. (DARRYL DYCK/CP)

OTTAWA – The Conservatives confirm their interim leader took a Caribbean vacation on a billionaire’s yacht around the time members of her caucus were criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for vacationing on a private island owned by the Aga Khan.

A spokesman for Rona Ambrose verified a report by political news website iPolitics that the acting Conservative leader and her partner J.P. Veitch soaked up the sun last month on the yacht of energy mogul Murray Edwards around the islands of St. Barths and Saint Martin.

However Mike Storeshaw told The Canadian Press in an email that Ambrose was far more open about her vacation than Trudeau was about his winter holiday.

“Ms. Ambrose has followed all rules that apply to her with respect to her holiday, and was open and transparent with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, unlike the Prime Minister,” Storeshaw said.

Storeshaw said Ambrose paid for a flight on a charter along with a number of friends — none of whom, he said, are public office holders.

“Ms. Ambrose discussed her holiday with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, who verified that it was within the rules,” he added.

RELATED: Watchdog investigates Trudeau’s use of Aga Khan helicopter

The iPolitics report said Ambrose took her vacation from Jan. 3-14. During the same time members of her caucus called for the ethic commissioner Mary Dawson to probe both Trudeau’s stay at the Aga Khan’s exclusive private island in the Bahamas and his use of the Aga Khan’s private helicopter to the island after he and his family jetted down to the Caribbean.

The federal Conflict of Interest Act and Trudeau’s own guidelines for his cabinet ministers bar the use of sponsored travel in private aircraft, allowing it only in exceptional circumstances and only with prior approval from the commissioner.

On Jan. 11 — when Ambrose was reportedly still on vacation in the Caribbean — she tweeted a letter Conservative MP and ethics critic Blaine Calkins sent to the ethics commissioner calling for the investigation.

The next day, iPolitics reports, Ambrose sent a letter to the ethics commissioner’s office to check that her own holiday was within the rules.

Dawson said she was looking into the matter and Ambrose and other Conservatives have continued to grill Trudeau over his travels.

“Justin Trudeau knew what he did was against the law,” Ambrose posted on Twitter last month. “All he had to do was say no, but he couldn’t resist the billionaire lifestyle.”

Officials with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner were not immediately available for comment Saturday.

Edwards, who is also co-owner of the Calgary Flames, is ranked as the 30th richest person in Canada by Canadian Business magazine with a net worth estimated at $2.96 billion.


As her party scolded Trudeau, Ambrose vacationed on billionaire’s yacht

  1. The article left out the key point that Murray Edwards is a Liberal, and has historically supported the Liberal Party of Canada.

    • BC Libs….old SoCred party. Relax.

      • That’s Liberal Part of CANADA — not the Liberal Party of the Province of BC.

        Trudeau skipped 69 of the 118 questions periods as PM. That’s more the Harper in his first years and far more than Ambrose.

        Trudeau promised to reform QP — “The best way to show respect for this institution is to show up in Parliament regularly and be answerable to Canadians”.

        • Lib party of BC… attention.

        • Tell us, Chip, since you are deflecting here, what valuable questions are being posed by your beloved Opposition? About Trudeau riding in a private helicopter to an island where they may have discussed how they can build schools, hospitals etc for the poor in the world.

          And NOW it comes to light, after the fact and after she was caught, that the Leader of the Opposition was hobknobbing on a billionaire oil tycoon’s yacht while scolding the PM about not being able to “resist the billionaire lifestyle”. And she didn’t check with the Ethics Commissioner until 8 or 9 days into her trip….again a little after the fact. But I guess hypocrisy doesn’t bother you much.

          What point is there for the PM to be in QPeriod when this drivel is all the Opposition can come up with for questions. Trudeau at least goes out and meets Canadians of all political stripes across this country face to face. Something that coward, Harper, never had the guts or integrity to do.

          • It was JT who said he would set the example and move the bar so high, not Harper not Mulcair. I’m just stating the facts of QP and attendance.

            BTW. I’ve met Harper, but I’ve never met Trudeau. If it’s face-to-face contact you desire just get out there and meet your politicians. I don’t buy into the Trudeau Dog & Pony Tour for one bit and neither did most Canadian’s from what I’ve read.

          • Chip, the article was not about QP. It was about Ambrose’s and the Conservatives’ blatant hypocrisy which only came to light after they got caught themselves. But I was stating a fact as well that this whole waste of time in QP about the Aga Khan has been nothing but drivel. JT has already set the bar much higher. He just needs to get a lot tougher with the hypocrites in the opposition across from him in the house.

            And so what if you met Harper. You undoubtedly had a blood test to be sure your blood was blue enough before you got within 200 yards of him. Trudeau has undoubtedly met more Canadians in his first 15 months in office than Harper met in his whole time.

            Again, you completely avoided the issue at hand and my comment above and deflected with a bunch of unrelated nonsense.

          • Francis,
            -Ambrose brought this to the Ethic’s Commissioner BEFORE she took the trip. Mr. Selfie (that’s the only reason he’s out and about) relented to discuss it with the Ethic’s AFTER he lied and got caught.
            -Murray Edward hasn’t receive the ~$400 million in grants that Khan has.
            -Ambrose paid for her own flight.
            There is nothing to compare here-Ambrose above board, Mr. Selfie not!

    • So what? Harper was a big fan of the Aga Khan and made him an honourary citizen of Canada.

      “Prime Minister Harper bestows the title “Honorary Canadian Citizen” to His Highness the Aga Khan”

      • Kelper,
        That doesn’t create a conflict of interest for Harper since Harper got no benefit-Khan did.
        In Trudeau’s case Khan gave him something and might expect something back-like even bigger grants!!

    • A blue liberal, his nose goes where the wind blows, and Rona is good with blowing wind all the time.

    • And Murray Edwards doesn’t get grants from the government like Khan-almost $400 million so far.

  2. The usual Con excuses….and motto..’do as I say, not as I do’

    • The circumstances are not nearly the same. The fact that the Aga Khan and Murray Edwards are billionaires is irrelevant. Trudeau did 3 things that make his actions a conflict and hers not – he didn’t clear it with the ethics commissioner, he took Liberal staffers with him and the Aga Khan’s organization receives funding from the federal government.

      • LOL Bosh.

      • The Aga Khan has received tens of millions of dollars from Canada over the past few years. And what is that funding for, Colin?? Schools, hospitals etc in poor, war torn countries!!

        Meanwhile, Mr Edwards, who is co-owner of the Flames wants taxpayer funding in Calgary to help build a new arena for his hockey team.

        Two completely different takes on philanthropy.

  3. Lining up your next job .. good for you Rona .. it’s always easier to find a new job when you’re still employed … and on the taxpayer’s dime too…

    • She was on vacation.

      • So was he.

        • He’s always on vacation!

  4. Ambrose certainly displayed astonishing chutzpah. She was tweeting and emailing her attacks on Trudeau and her demands that the ethics commissioner look into his vacation directly from the billionaires yacht!

    And in fact she did not clear her holiday in advance as she didn’t mention her own vacation to the ethics commission until she had been on the yacht for over a week and in the midst of her denunciation of Trudeau. This is a level of hypocrisy that almost defies belief.

    Apologists are saying she was more open which is pretty funny considering that this just came out a month after the trip and not from Ambrose.

    Evidently she felt safe from the media and this only came out from IPolitics . It seems unlikely that Postmedia would ever break this story and the CBC and the Globe who rode the Trudeau vacation story into the ground, haven’t even mentioned it yet.

    The whole transfer to the island on a helicopter thing is and always was a non story. There was no other way to get to the island other than swimming, Now of course we have learned that if the Aga Khan had sent a yacht to ferry them there instead of a helicopter that would have been A-OK.

    • Cons have always had chutzpah alright. Also crust, nerve, brass…

    • Why would she need to be public here at all when she followed all of the rules?

  5. If I am reading this right, Ambrose only contacted the Ethics Commissioner after Trudeau’s holiday was reported. That is, while she was actually still on the yacht. Mild panic attack, perhaps?

    • Why would she need to be public ever here at all when she followed all of the rules?

  6. What … politicians hobnobbing with the rich and famous? Quelle suprise. As a prescient guitar hero observed “if you think they’re looking out for you, you ain’t even number 2”. I’m still waiting to hear an apology for paper bags full of cash passed over the table, use of search and rescue helicopter for personal vacation travel and other conservative hi-jinks. But perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised. My son at 11 had it dialed in on a visit to parliament hill when he asked the tour guide if ‘Ed the red was going to cruise up in his limo’ (reference to Ed Broadbent after a week with my dad – sigh). On a recent visit to Ottawa I was surprised to see Elizabeth May walking to work (managing not to get run over by all the limos and taxis arriving on the hill).
    On a technical level, one has to ask why the guideline applies to air travel but not water transport? Perhaps Ms Ambrose’s confusion between ethics and law exemplifies the political condition.

    • She didn’t see a lawyer before she traveled-she saw the ETHIC’s Commissioner!

      • Jerome,
        She contacted the Ethics Commissioner from her billionaire friend’s yacht a week after her holiday started, not before she left. This was also after the Tories she left behind had already started their complaints about the Prime Minister being at his billionaire friend’s place.

        • Wrong Winter Snow-read it again. She contacted an MP from the yacht to get that MP to contact the Ethics Commissioner to launch a complaint re Trudeau’s abuse of the rules. I suspect really the MP actually called Rona, as the acting head of The PC’s, to see if she wanted to go after Trudeau on this. And it looks like she said “Go get him” Good for her.
          It would appear Mr. Selfie needs an Ethics 101 from the Ethic’s Commissioner!!

          • Jerome, why don’t you just button up with your droning on about how ethical Ambrose was. I don’t know if you are deliberately playing stupid to the fact that she didn’t contact the Ethics Commissioner until well into her holidays as well as to the fact that her vacation did not come to light until she was outed by iPolitics. If she was so honest and forthright she could have shook her finger at Trudeau in Quest Period saying “I followed all the procedures before I went on my holiday, why didn’t you?” HOWEVER, we all know what happened. She and the Cons went absolutely silent in Q Period after she got caught. Utter hypocrites. And they rely on little parrots like you to run around defending them.

  7. Isn’t it wonderful…. you can bet your bottom $ (or maybe your bottom million if you’re one of these chaps) that the leadership of both of these parties enjoy rubbing shoulders with the opulent.

    Hey Rona and Justin, I’m pretty easy to get along with, why don’t you come over to my place, we have some spare space in our home. We can chat about democracy.

    I’m guessing not eh?