MONROVIA, Liberia — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is distancing himself from a growing opposition furor over a private Liberal fundraiser where one attendee subsequently donated $1 million to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
Trudeau — speaking in the Liberian capital of Monrovia — says he has not been associated in any formal or informal way with the foundation bearing his father’s name since he was first elected to the House of Commons.
The prime minister says he made the split to show there is a “tremendous separation” between himself and the foundation.
Trudeau pointed out two members of the board of directors — former Conservative cabinet minister Chuck Strahl and former NDP deputy leader Megan Leslie — as assurance that the foundation’s operations are separate from anything he does as prime minister or as party leader.
Liberal MPs have dismissed opposition concerns about Trudeau’s appearance at the $1,500-a-ticket private fundraiser in May, labelling as conspiracy theory any links between the party and the $1 million donation.
Opposition MPs say Trudeau broke the spirit of the law and his own ethical standards set out to cabinet ministers that they must avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.