Prime Minister Trudeau suffered heavy criticism on Tuesday as opposition parties accused him of lying about his vacation last January on a private island in the Bahamas belonging to Muslim prince Aga Khan.
The Prime Minister and his family had spent the holidays with this “friend of the family,” which made the opposition protest, denouncing the costs of this trip at the expense of taxpayers.
In addition, the journey from the city of Nassau to the spiritual leader’s private island took place in a private helicopter, which can be likened to a gift. However, parliamentary rules prohibit such gifts. In his defense, Mr. Trudeau repeatedly argued that there was no other means than the helicopter to reach Aga Khan Island.
However, CBC discovered that a Privy Council technician had been able to travel to the island by taking a commercial charter aircraft.
In the House of Commons, on Tuesday in the House of Commons, Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose and House Official Opposition House Leader Candice Bergen tapped the Prime Minister on these new revelations. Ms. Ambrose argued that this private helicopter trip was not only illegal and contrary to the ethical rules enacted by the Prime Minister himself but was also unnecessary.
According to CBC, the original cost estimate of $ 127,187 did not include an additional $ 6695 for the seaplane route between Nassau and the private island.
Mr. Trudeau resumed his usual defense on Tuesday: it was a private family vacation, and he is perfectly prepared to discuss it with the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He also explained that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), responsible for his safety, has the final say on his trips and those of his family.
Under the rules, the Prime Minister and his family can not take a regular flight. And under parliamentary ethics, reinforced by Mr. Trudeau after his election, the Prime Minister and members of the cabinet can not accept free travel on private or chartered aircraft without first obtaining the approval of Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
More than half of the cost of this vacation – about $ 72,000 – goes to security and the RCMP. The government states that these expenses would have been the same regardless of the destination of the Prime Minister.