Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to pay a $100 fine for accepting a gift of sunglasses and not reporting them but still hasn’t faced any real sanction for his vacation to a private island.
The news broke the other day about Trudeau’s fine, the result of the Premier Wade MacLauchlan of PEI giving Trudeau as gift while he visited the Island. From the CP report via CTV News.
The gift was two pairs of leather-covered aviator sunglasses presented to Trudeau during a visit to Prince Edward Island in June 2017.
Each pair, made by Fellow Earthlings sunglasses company in Guernsey Cove, P.E.I., was worth $300.
Federal conflict of interest rules dictate all gifts valued over $200 must be publicly declared within 30 days of acceptance.
Trudeau, or more correctly, his office did not disclose the gift within that time frame and so an investigation commenced and he was fined.
I get having laws to stop elected officials from taking bribes but c’mon! Do we really think that our PM, whoever it is, will be bribed by a couple of pairs of nice sunglasses given to him by a provincial premier?
I certainly don’t.
I’m more concerned with billionaire philanthropists and businessmen that do business with the government of Canada, receive millions in support from taxpayers, gifting the PM a vacation.
Yes, I’m talking about the Aga Khan’s island.
Trudeau and/or his family took three vacations on the private island, two while PM and one while leader of the opposition. The PM said he didn’t see an issue because the Aga Khan was an old family friend and yet, the evidence didn’t back that up.
As Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson reported the two had little in the way of interaction until Trudeau because Liberal Party of Canada leader. It ramped up after that.
In my view, Mr. Trudeau’s description of his own friendship with the Aga Khan suggests that it arose as a result of his position as the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and subsequently from his position as Prime Minister.
Let’s be clear, the Aga Khan and his foundation receive millions of dollars of aid from the Government of Canada. They took over a piece of prime real estate, the old war museum location on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, at our expense.
The Aga Khan and his foundation lobby the government on a regular basis to secure this money.
Surely there is a real conflict here and surely it deserved something more than the light slap on the wrist Trudeau received.
Sunglasses versus an oasis vacation.
A couple of pairs of sun glasses really don’t bother me. Three trips to a tropical paradise really do.
Trudeau and his family took a vacation there in December 2014. Sophie, her friend and their children took a vacation without Justin in March 2016. Then finally the whole Trudeau clan plus a cabinet minister, assorted Liberal officials and their families all took the infamous December 2016 vacation.
Three vacations to a tropical paradise from a man that actively lobbies for millions and the penalty is what?
A chastising report from the Ethics Commissioner.
Shouldn’t we all be more worried about this kind of thing than t a pair of sunglasses?
I’d definitely say so. Most sane Canadians would.
But such is the state of Canadian politics today.