Friends! Welcome to Justin Trudeau's ethical island - Macleans.ca
 

Friends! Welcome to Justin Trudeau’s ethical island

The general rule is that public officeholders should not receive anything they could not ordinarily buy, but the details allow for all kinds of room to dodge or distract


 

The ethics commissioner’s report into Justin Trudeau’s family vacation on the private island of a rich spiritual leader is the sort of thing that will discourage good people from entering into politics. Who will ever want to run for high office again, knowing the time-honoured option of an occasional tropical getaway to the sprawling demesne of a vaguely spiritual host who periodically petitions the federal government for grants-in-kind will forever be foreclosed?

I kid. Probably this sort of situation won’t come up, in precisely the same form, again. In its details, this whole thing is Byzantine in the intricacy of its silliness. Part of Mary Dawson’s ruling—which she took longer to deliver than Prime Ministers Tupper, Turner, Campbell and Clark took to be prime minister—hinges on her decision that the Aga Khan cannot be considered a “friend” of Justin Trudeau’s within the meaning of the Conflict of Interest Act. Mostly contrite in the lobby of the House of Commons, the prime minister still insisted the Aga Khan is indeed a friend.

I’m never good on this kind of story, so I’m still trying to figure out why it could matter. The Aga Khan’s foundation was registered to lobby with the PMO. It had benefited from government spending decisions before (including under Trudeau’s predecessor, Stephen Harper) and stood to do so again. But it would be okay for him to bestow repeated gifts on Trudeau’s family—including one that becomes more precious the longer you’re in public life, which is the gift of privacy and isolation—if they were demonstrably pals? The ethically prophylactic solution, I guess, is to elect leaders who maintain active friendships with the largest possible number of plutocrats.

Prime Minister, where have you been?

My pal Tex’s ranch! Mustn’t fall out of touch!

But the details, while intriguing, are to some extent a distraction. They allow for all kinds of room to dodge or distract (“It’s not as though the Aga Khan is a bad guy, after all“). Meanwhile the general rule is simple: public officeholders should not be given, or at least they should not accept, what they could not ordinarily buy. The reason for this is that nothing is free, and if there is no dollar cost, then the debt will be the baser currency of favours owed. And, as Justin Trudeau used to feel free to explain to his ministers, it doesn’t even matter if favours are thought to be owed between the protagonists in such a drama: if a reasonable outside observer could construe the situation as to leave a debt on one side or the other, that’s enough to cast doubt on the integrity of the transaction.

READ: Trudeau talks about ‘quality family time’ on the Aga Khan’s island

It’s tedious to have to do all this paperwork and turn down experiences that might be fun! It is a drag that bad things happened in Canada—the sponsorship scandal, Karlheinz Schreiber, the deep morass of collusion in the Quebec construction industry—that have led to all sorts of ethics rules and constraints and checks. But the alternative to all these ethical belts and suspenders is, precisely, a world in which “who you know in the PMO” can affect one’s chances of getting ahead.

In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare has several characters muse about why it’s important to uphold transparent contract law, even if it means granting Shylock his bloody bond in his dispute with Antonio. Even Antonio, when it looks like he’ll come up on the losing end of the deal, gets it: “The duke cannot deny the course of law: For the commodity that strangers have/ With us in Venice, if it be denied,/ Will much impeach the justice of his state;/ Since that the trade and profit of the city/ Consisteth of all nations.”

In other words: you can’t deny a stranger justice, because if you did, strangers from around the world would understand that this trading nation is no place to expect justice. Exactly so, in a trading nation like Canada. The collapse of our nearest neighbour and largest trading partner into an abject crony state offers competitive advantage only to the extent Canada refuses to follow suit.

There are risks all over. As the Trudeau government ramps up spending on infrastructure, often involving large investors whose principals the PM likes to cajole in person, everyone will need to ensure there is no hint of back-scratching and log-rolling. The scale of the temptation is vast. As the government’s “open, transparent and merit-based appointment process” requires thousands of Canadians to apply in person for plum government jobs—actually, I’m not sure what will happen as a result of that, but there seems to be room for concern. For every senator, official, judge, board member or other public figure who’s been selected through the new process, there’ve been several more who’ve been turned down, may hope to try again, and in the meantime are conscious of themselves as petitioners for a government favour. And on a day like today, that’s worth thinking about.

MORE ABOUT JUSTIN TRUDEAU:


 

Friends! Welcome to Justin Trudeau’s ethical island

    • Agreed.

      • Watch the numbers go up for Trudeau, after the right(cons) go over the edge, i don’t know who that other party is that will join in, i think its the New Democratic Conservative party, willing to take down the grits if there is a minority government. No one else cares besides Andrew Coyne, John Ivison and Chantel, oh, and Rosie, that covers inside the bubble. Honestly, Mr. Wells or any other MSM reporters, blogger or journos, do you really think Canadians are going to chuck Trudeau in for Sheer or even Singh, and turn back to the dark ages of a another conservative government, on a pigs nuts they will. The only time i ever saw people running mad and screaming wild in the streets in this country, was to get a selfie from Trudeau, the more the media pounds, the more they help drive Trudeau’s numbers up. Read my lips again, THIS WILL NOT STICK!

        • The MSM is making Trudeau look like a Bad Boy, well who don’t like Bad Boys, everyone loves a Bad Boy! If your going through hell Trudeau, keep going.

          • https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/pm-s-use-of-jet-for-family-vacation-emitted-as-much-co2-as-average-canadian-per-year-1.3250397

            “Who don’t like Bad Boys?” Excuse me for pointing this out but:

            1. Trudeau is not a rock star. He is the PM and he SERVES the people of Canada. He chose to become a public servant.

            2. The current PM regardless of what past PM’s might have done, should serve in a manner which is honest and ethical and try to appear to honour his word especially when it comes to issues he espouses to be a priority (climate change for example.)

            3. “Andrew Coyne, Chantal, etc.” Are the free press. It is their job to keep the citizens apprised of the actions of the PM and his representatives.

            4. Citizens encouraging our PM to ignore ethical issues puts one in mind of Trump supporters. An expectation that politicians adhere to ethical behaviour should be bi-partisan. Our PM represents every Canadian, whether they voted for him or not. He should do his best to reflect well on our country and we should all be hoping that he does so.

            3.

        • I hope it sticks like a really bad rash and helps get rid of the most arrogant narcissist Canada has ever had as a P.M. He’s enough to gag a maggot!

          • So we can get stuck with another arrogant conservative government and NDP party to support it, Canadians are to smart for that. Trudeau’s got to many files to get done, especially with our native people’s, do you honestly think they will toss Trudeau out of government for some little thing that gets under your skin, or turn back the clock to the regressive ideas of the cons, do you really think Canadians want a government to stifle gay rights, abortion, legal pot, dying with dignity, child benefits tax free and small business taxes, these are the things Canadians cherish and as long as the right, stays right, the government of the day will be a progressive one. How do you like them apples. Someone should have Andrew Coyne committed or he is going to have an aneurysm, couldn’t help but notice the veins in his neck being interviewed by Rosie.

          • Trudeau so far is getting nothing he promised done and Canadians are smart enough to see that and welcome back a PC party that served them so well and for a long, historic time. Hopefully Trudeau and his spendthrifts haven’t bankrupted Canada over their 4 years of cloudy ways.

          • You are so right the most arrogant incompetent government in Canada’s history. What has this government done right? PM drama teacher and his band of merry thieves need to take a walk; the average Canadian can’t take any more (utterly sickening).

        • That itself may not stick but add it all up and enough will stick. Many people I know find it unconscionable that he is not protecting our borders from poorly vetted ILLEGALS and ISIS killers. A leader does NOT allow in the enemy

  1. To defend Trudeau or try to explain his actions pretty futile in this fury, but I would say he may have seen the Aga Khan as an Uncle figure, not really a friend. He may have wanted his kids to meet and get to know him as a link to Pierre. How silly and naive of me.

    • As long as he takes care of the country, I’m not concerned with what he does on his holidays.

      • BUT — Trudeau doesn’t take care of Canada or Canadians!!!!!

        • Canada is booming, has no unemployment, and is well-respected.

          • Give me a break!! The only reason unemployment looks good it that it leaves out those who have given up all hope and are no longer looking.

          • Canada has thousands of jobs we can’t fill…….there are no ‘hopeless’.people…….the Libs are at 40%…..

            Leave the eggnog alone

          • The only reason Canada is even showing up on the economic thermometer is because of the success of the US under Trump. When the US does well, so does Canada, in spite of an incompetent in the PM office.

          • Well you are bathing in the eggnog if you believe that.LOL

            You can kiss Trump’s rump all you want, babe but the US is crashing

          • The US GDP grew by 3.3% in Q3/17 while Canada grew at a piddly 1.7%.
            The US Dow grew 38% over Trump’s first year, the TSX grew 8% over that same time frame.
            Who’s crashing?

          • Canada’s record on global warming is not well respected. This PM used this fact to get elected. Then he promptly applied a carbon tax on the average Canadian while he visited a “family friend” who has exploited and damaged the ecology of his own private island. In doing so, our environmentally friendly PM managed to create on one vacation, a carbon footprint matching the yearly one of citizens that he is bemoaning need to do better. That behavior is not well-respected. It is a clear example of hypocrisy.

      • How can one possibly excuse the fact that the PM’s two week “holiday” (on a private island whose owner has by all accounts done severe ecological damage to) was as carbon intensive as the average Canadian’s year? In a time of global warming and awareness that Canadians need to reduce their carbon foot print to the point that all Canadians must pay a carbon tax, how is the PM behaving so recklessly with is own carbon foot print possibly being interpreted as taking “care of the country?”

  2. Well said.

    I am sure the Trudeau’s thought this was a good way for a family vacation free of all the opposition and media caterwauling about expenses such as followed when they went to Nevis. And because the Aga Kahn was a close friend of his
    father he likely considered him a family friend and therefore exempt from sanction.

    They do seem to be oblivious to how things look however and the perception
    that could come of accepting this vacation but if there is increased caution in the future and perhaps a clarifying of rules going forward then it will have served a useful purpose no matter how uncomfortable it may be for now..

    • As Wells mentions, it’s not obvious to mere mortals why it would make a difference if the AK was indeed a friend. The AK’s organization petitions for and receives federal money. The AK bestowed a large gift to Trudeau in the form of a holiday. Friend or not, the circumstances are a clear conflict of interest.

      • There is not the slightest evidence that the Aga Khan’s foundation received any benefit, asked for any benefit or was offered any benefit from this vacation.

        This is a big scandal that revolves around absolutely nothing untoward having actually occurred.

        • That is complete B.S. In total Khan has received over $300 million from the Federal Government including a dose this year as well. I’m sure Khan as a knowledgeable lobbiest has done a lot of “favors” for other Liberal leaders before Trudeau but Trudeau was dumb enough to get caught. His IQ has dropped another notch as far as I’m concerned. Soon he’ll be riding in the small bus to the hill.

        • No benefit ?? Really? From a Globe editorial: “On March 9, just two days before the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left for her Caribbean getaway at the Aga Khan’s island), a representative of the Aga Khan contacted the Prime Minister’s Office to request a formal meeting between the two men to discuss, among other things, a pending $15-million federal grant to the Global Centre for Pluralism, an Ottawa-based pet project of the Aga Khan.” What do you mean, “nothing untoward”?

      • I agree that it should not matter if it is a friend or not, but those are the rules now which are absurd and should be changed.

        Sitting politicians should not accept gifts from any lobbyist even if they are friends.

        That is why the Conservatives cant really claim the high ground here as Rona Ambrose was bobbing around on the yacht of her very own billionaire buddy who was also a lobbyist as she launched her somewhat hypocritical attack on Trudeau. She also had failed to clear her trip with the ethics commissioner and she also should not have been able to accept this free vacation,friend or no. The rules need to be tightened.

        • But within the current asinine “friend” rules Rona was in full compliance and Mr. Selfie wasn’t.

  3. That his fan club excuses his breaking the law is no surprise.

    No news here.

    • Nobody cares anymore Rev Rob because it’s all the Cons ever do……attack, natter, bitch, whine, complain……..and about petty things, not anything that would help the country

      I remember GG Adrienne Clarkson being attacked for her menu, same when PM Martin had a working dinner over policy….it’s just constant nit-picking, and cheese-paring

      This is why Trudeau is at 40% and you’re in the cellar at 29%

      • JT also has another 1st.
        He’s the first EVER sitting PM to break the ethics rules.

        • You born yesterday?

          • I agree with you 100% Em, the whining never lets up..

          • Please name another sitting PM? You would have named him/her already if you could have. LOL

            Ms. Dawson sure is busy with no less than 3 of Liberal cabinet ministers under investigation.

      • Trudeau didn’t break the law. That’s a stupid comment.

        • Maybe you should read the Ethics Commissioner’s report summary. It says he broke the law four times. If he was a senior employee in any large company and engaged in such blatant conflict of interest, he would be fired in a heartbeat.

          • That’s not a law he broke, he may have skirted a few ethical rules unknowingly, but their was no law broken or cover up, which means there was no scandal, which means there is no story here, just blovaiting. You right wingers got to get a grip, the only hope of either NDP right or CON right to get in to power is hope Trudeau stumbles, well Canada has given him 9 lives, he still has a half dozen or more to go, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

        • Dawson earned a civil law degree from McGill, a common law degree from Dalhousie and a public law degree from University of Ottawa.

          The act she administers is legally enforceable and pertains to some 3,000 ministers and other public office holders, while the code specifically governs MPs and has considerably less bite than a law.

  4. If the politicians followed Treasury Board guidelines and the “conflict of interest rules” for “civil servants” then our leaders wouldn’t have to apologize. (did he cry too?, i missed that)

    Harper paid for his trips to NYC for hockey, etc

    • No, the party did.

      • Sooo not taxpayers like Justin does.

    • He also paid his own way for his daughter to fly with him to Ottawa. “Harper flew with his teen daughter, Rachel, from Edmonton to Ottawa, paying $248 plus GST for her portion of the flight.” Elitist Justin would never dip into his trust fund to pay for something like that.

  5. Justin Trudeau has shown how criminal he is in so many ways but this act really has lost the confidence of Canadians and he really needs to do the ethical thing and step down as PM, as should the liberals, calling an election!! He and Sophie and the liberals are a disgrace and an embarrassment to Canada!!!!

    • Don’t drink and post.

  6. This vacation is not an isolated ethical event in the life of Justin Trudeau, MP.

    1) While an MP, he shook down non-profits, NGO’s, and charities for speaking fees.
    2) While an MP, he admitted to breaking the law by smoking pot while an elected MP.
    3) On this Aga Khan vacation, one of Trudeau’s guests was the general manager of the Liberal hangout/restaurant/lounge where the employees were sexually harassed. The GM claim the Sergeant Schultz defense (as many Ottawa Liberal including Trudeau who frequented the place).
    4) All those global elites and 1%’ers who are going to be given guaranteed above market rates of return with no risk of loss via Trudeau and Morneau’s privatization bank and undoubtedly going to be using Caribbean tax havens to make sure those windfall profits on Canadian infrastructure laundered through the privatization bank are not taxed.

    • Lying again eh Buckwheat…

      This stuff doesn’t raise your party ratings ya know

  7. Rules? What rules? Trudeau’s actions are not the carefully planned deviations of a crooked pol’ but the unconscious exercise of “entitlement” by Pierre’s spoiled and not too clever brat.

    • Sure, that’s what a vacation is. The end of the world almost. How will we be able to carry on after this horror?

  8. It is a puzzlement.
    Justin spent an alleged $2500 per day on a suite; hopefully, for 10 days one gets a discount. Harper block booked an entire floor of the Westin at blue mountain for a family vacation which at their best rates is around $12,000 per day. By the time you add friends, flacks, hacks and security including paid overtime it adds up and the part accounted as a personal expense is just the tip of the iceberg. When parts that would otherwise have been paid for by the taxpayer are paid for by wealthy ‘friends’ is that a conflict of interest for taxpayers?

    • Yeah, yeah…..he was a wonderful man Always saving money…..hanging about in cupboards, eliminating he census…..

      Its why he got the boot.

    • http://rootsmedia.ca/2012-03/376-publicly-funded-vacation-for-pm-stephen-harper

      Yes, Harper went to Collingwood, Ontario to see his son play volleyball in the Canada games. “By the time you add friends, flacks, hacks and security including paid overtime it adds up..”. Yes, it does add up. I wonder if it added up to the amount Mr. Trudeau spent when he took 44 friends, flacks, hacks and security to Washington to visit Mr. Obama. Or his countless other vacations. As for the question about “when parts that otherwise have been paid for by the taxpayer are paid for by wealthy friends, is that a conflict of interest for taxpayers…..let’s reflect on the Mike Duffy trial and allegations that Nigel Wright’s payment of $90 K was a bribe of some kind vs. A wealthy friend picking up the cost for taxpayers. Despite the RCMP and the trial judge finding nothing to charge Wright with, those allegations led Trudeau to announce his policy that behaviours that even appeared to be unethical were unacceptable in his cabinet. Is it too much to ask that a PM who runs on a platform of change and honesty fulfill his promises? Why is it that every time Trudeau does something that is questionable, either he or his supporters compare the behaviours to the previous government as though Trudeau’s bad behaviour was in someway caused by the Cons or that the Canadians who voted for him shouldn’t expect him to be better than Harper even though he promised to be.

  9. “The ethically prophylactic solution, I guess, is to elect leaders who maintain active friendships with the largest possible number of plutocrats.”
    Or, do as Harper did, and be such a curmudgeon that you have no friends, or at least none you wouldn’t be willing to throw under the bus to save your own skin.
    Can anyone, even Steve’s staunchest supporter, imagine him standing in front of hostile media and offering a mea culpa because he thought it was important to show respect for the office of the ethics commissioner? Or even the Supreme Court?

    • No I couldn’t because Harper would NEVER have put himself in a position where that was needed. That’s the difference between Harper knowing right from wrong and Trudeau too dumb to understand the fundamentals of when you are involved in a conflict of interest.
      And Trudeau did his mea culpa not out of respect for the ethics commissioner but to try to look contrite. I’m surprised he didn’t cry.

    • Oh wait, this “mea culpa” is a year in the making. Trudeau denied he did anything wrong and did a cross country coffee shop tour following the vacation just to show how down to earth he actually is. This mea culpa comes only when he was found guilty of ethical violations. Up to that point, he behaved in a manner much like Harper was want to. He made it clear that he was entitled to his entitlements. Something Canadians need to accept is that Harper admired Pierre Trudeau and Justin Trudeau admired Harper. There are striking similarities in the way the three PM’s have behaved while in office. I believe the manner of leadership could best be described as autocratic.

  10. Well everyone has a couple of weeks to plan their demands for his apology,resignation or conviction which will be recorded and spun for the next election by his opponents.

    Merry Christmas.

  11. The fact that the Aga Khan and Justin had not spoken to each other in over 30 years hardly speaks of a strong “friendship”. It’s interesting to note an editorial in the Globe : “On March 9, just two days before the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left for her Caribbean getaway (at the Aga Khan’s island), a representative of the Aga Khan contacted the Prime Minister’s Office to request a formal meeting between the two men to discuss, among other things, a pending $15-million federal grant to the Global Centre for Pluralism, an Ottawa-based pet project of the Aga Khan.” This is something to be concerned about.

    • Apparently the 30 year silence ended when Justin became leader of the liberal party.

      • And that because the Aga Khan was looking for favors-as he always has-and Trudeau complied. Khan is now also under investigation.

    • Maybe it’s a simple answer. He just wanted his kids to get to know a very close friend of his father.

  12. Yeah Harp was a wonderful leader……amazing he didn’t get re-elected .

    Maybe people don’t like cheapskate PMs

    • Sorry Emily-Harper got re-elected several times. As Trudeau and his band of incompetents continue to screw up, this will be one term blight and be gone at the next election. It will great to have Scheer as P.M.-amazing what someone with a 25 point higher I.Q. can do.

      • Scheer’s merger with Rebel Media should make you happy.

        • Typical left wing nonsense.

    • Em — your start of mind is captured perfectly in.

      Dr. Lyle Rossiter’s The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness

      The liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
      * creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
      * satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
      * augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
      * rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

      “The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says.

      “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”

      • Good stuff Chip. Emily I’m sure will dismiss this with some ridiculous off base comment like she does with with everything.

      • So true the liberal mind is shallow and void.

  13. “Only days before he died, Toronto billionaire Barry Sherman was attempting to quash an investigation into a political fundraiser he held for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that allegedly ran afoul of lobbying rules.“ Toronto Star

    I wonder if unethical Trudy pulled a Tanya?

  14. Anyone catch our “state broadcaster” taking Trudeau to task at yesterday’s media scrum? It was a wonderful change to see them asking tough questions.

    I’ve never seen JT dumbfounded like that. He was totally off script. The um’s, ah’s, er’s, duh’s were freely flowing. Where was Gerald Butt’s when he needed him most?

    • Yup, I saw it. Trudeau was apparently unprepared for the tough questions because he responded (and I try to quote Andrew Coyne on At Issue discussing said scrum) “like a robot that had blown a fuse”.

      • Is that bumbling recorded anywhere? I can only find the one where he’s trying to be contrite and plans to have all future vacations screened by the Ethics Commissioner.

          • The referenced clip was the CBC being merciful to Trudeau. What I saw on TV (and what Andrew Coyne was talking about) was longer and had Trudeau being *far* less coherent.

  15. To E1 and CB, our PM is a messiah who can do no wrong. To them I wish as their new neighbors, the ISIS fighters that the brilliant JT wants to re-integrate.

  16. Now Trudeau is attending the Sherman funeral. They were under investigation.
    Alert! Ottawa pundits. This is a problem.
    And let’s investigate the Aga Khan himself. Philanthropists, we have you in our sights,

    • As of today, it was announced that Khan IS being investigated!!

  17. Clarity, common sense, intelligence, and the courage to step outside the media herd mentality. Read Andrew Cohen in Globe. Gives one a sense that coverage of Ottawa politics is not a hopeless repetitive anti government diatribe. At least one writer giving the issue an unbiased examination.
    Why do the Ottawa media almost unanimously conclude that Dawson is some sort of ethical oracle? I agree with Cohen, she full of it.

    • From Andrew Cohen.

      But fundamentally, the commissioner has misread human nature. There was a serious ethical lapse here only if you believe that all politicians are crooks and spiritual leaders are frauds. And that our political climate is so toxic and devoid of substance that we can spend a year discussing official behaviour more cavalier than sinister.

      • Perhaps if Mr. Trudeau and his entourage had been more forthcoming — it would not have taken the ethics commissioner so long to document. My goodness — no less than 14 eye-witnesses were interviewed. This vacation has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of $$$ — and that’s not counting Dawson’s time!

        As for Dawson — her long political records speaks for itself. I don’t always agree with her politics. But she has done Canada an amazing service over the years.

      • One only has to believe (know!) that *some* politicians are crooks and *some* spiritual leaders are frauds to understand that ethics and conflict of interest rules exist for an extremely good reason. And, if we are to have such rules, then they need to be enforced, regardless of who breaks them.

      • Government shill “oh sure we’re corrupt, ha ha, that’s too funny, ha ha…..ha” (awkward silence)

  18. The underlying problem here is not just JT being naive enough to forget his ethical responsibilities and then was caught (thanks to Andrew Scheer) in this one instance. It is about all the other unethical things he is doing / done that have not yet risen to the surface. This faux pas demonstrates his incompetence and bad judgement. Just wait … the rest of his unethical behaviour will soon be public knowledge.

  19. This just in from headquarters.

    “After a year of the Liberals insisting the Prime Minister had done nothing wrong, the report found that Trudeau committed multiple violations of federal law, which include:
    accepting gifts that could influence decision-making;

    not recusing himself from discussions that could further private interests;

    failing to arrange his private affairs to avoid this opportunity; and

    accepting travel on a non-commercial aircraft.”

    • The level of corruption and law breaking you describe is going to land that guy in the crowbar hotel for sure.

      • “Lock him up!!”

  20. Wasn’t there a Conservative who lied under oath, received 2M of taxpayer dollars as a result? Wasn’t there a call to pay back that money?

    Trudeau did wrong, is trying to right it.

    I would try to holiday on a private island. Peace and quiet.

    I don’t know anyone with a private island.:)

    • Yes, but I doubt the person offering you the private island vacation would be expecting a big grant from you in return. Yesterday it was announced that Khan was now under investigation too.

      • Military contract? Grant?

        We live in a Banana Republic. Nothing surprises me anymore.

        Seems like the complaining is a result of tribal politics.

  21. We don’t need to slice and dice the definition of ‘friend’ – Justin should not have gone for the very simple reason that his government (like previous governments) give taxpayer’s money to the Aga Khan’s Foundation and the foundation is registered as a lobbyist! Case closed – a wiser person would have realized that this would be a very difficult position to justify even to the Liberal loving media.

    And more to the point, why does a trust fund baby need to take a ‘free’ vacation – doesn’t he have his own money to use (which is what most Canadians do when they want to get away on a vacation!)

    Can we just face it that Justin is like most Liberals – a hypocrite that will say and do anything to get elected.

    • Couldn’t have said it better Maureen!!

  22. What is the point of having an ethics commissioner and report if when the findings are unequivocall that multiple laws were broken, all we get is an apology.

    That’s setting a pretty low standard for a PM don’t you think?

  23. Any economic success Canada may be enjoying is totally attributable to merely being dragged along in the wake of the American steamroller economy, and certainly has nothing to do with anything Trudope or his minions have accomplished!

  24. The Aga Khan Foundation seems like great scam to me. Get governments and businesses to donate to your cause, give your own causes a % of that and keep the rest for your yacht, servants, private island, and etravagant lifestyle of the rich and famous. I should try that.

    • I guess you feel the same way about the Sherman’s.
      They are friends of Trudeau and under investigation by the federal government.
      Philanthropists beware. The Ottawa media detests Trudeau. Stay clear of the place.

  25. If this was Harper, this would of been totally different article. What a bunch of Liberal Hypocrites !!

  26. Hi Justin — Apology accepted!

    • Our Lady of the Perpetual Apology!

  27. There are ethical priorities: taking privileged holidays is one thing: siding with the US against Russia and Venezuela is quite another. The shortage of food in the latter country was contrived, that is hoarded by those working with the US and West to force shortages. Ordinary people, hundreds of thousands, owned houses under Chavez and Maduro and poverty was lessened and health improved. We can’t have that: it’s communism. Blaming Putin and Russia for our failures, political in the US and economic in Canada, is the tactic of a schoolboy – “the dog ate my homework”. It gets us nowhere at best, in deep trouble at worst.

    • What addition of Das Kapital have you swallowed?