Canada court orders fresh look into Trudeau visit to Aga Khan's island

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A federal judge has ordered Canada's lobbying commissioner to reconsider a probe into whether the Aga Khan broke the rules by inviting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family to vacation on his private island at a time when his foundation was registered to lobby Trudeau's office. Canada's previous lobbying commissioner declined to investigate a public complaint about the matter in 2017, saying that since the Aga Khan was not paid by his foundation, his offer of a luxury Caribbean vacation could not be seen as lobbying. The Canadian prime minister was separately found to have broken ethics rules by accepting the vacation, though he did not face any penalties.

Reuters April 17, 2019 04:06:35 IST
Canada court orders fresh look into Trudeau visit to Aga Khan's island

Canada court orders fresh look into Trudeau visit to Aga Khans island

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A federal judge has ordered Canada's lobbying commissioner to reconsider a probe into whether the Aga Khan broke the rules by inviting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family to vacation on his private island at a time when his foundation was registered to lobby Trudeau's office.

Canada's previous lobbying commissioner declined to investigate a public complaint about the matter in 2017, saying that since the Aga Khan was not paid by his foundation, his offer of a luxury Caribbean vacation could not be seen as lobbying.

The Canadian prime minister was separately found to have broken ethics rules by accepting the vacation, though he did not face any penalties.

Trudeau has said that the Aga Khan is a close family friend.

Democracy Watch, a democracy reform advocacy group, challenged former Commission of Lobbying Karen Shepherd's decision.

In a recently released ruling, Federal Court Justice Patrick Gleeson agreed that Shepherd's scope was too narrow, quashing her decision not to probe the issue further. But he declined to order Canada's new lobbying commissioner, Nancy Bélanger, to launch a formal investigation, instead returning the matter to her for reconsideration.

A renewed probe could revive a scandal that haunted Trudeau for months, with opposition politicians calling the luxury trip inappropriate and painting the prime minister as an out-of-touch elite.

When asked about the matter by reporters on Tuesday, Trudeau said: "We trust in the processes in place and respect the work that the court and the lobbying commissioner will do."

Trudeau has said he has known the Aga Khan, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini, since childhood. He and his family visited the billionaire philanthropist's private island in the Bahamas in late 2016 and early 2017.

The ruling comes just months ahead of a federal election in Canada and as Trudeau is embroiled in another scandal over alleged interference in a corporate corruption case.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, editing by G Crosse)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.