In an unprecedented decision with potentially serious consequences for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s outgoing ethics watchdog Mary Dawson has ruled that Trudeau violated conflict of interest rules when he took Aga Khan’s private helicopter to the business magnate’s private island in the Bahamas during a Christmas 2016 vacation. Trudeau is the first Canadian prime minister to ever be convicted of such a violation.
According to the law, Trudeau needed to seek permission from the ethics watchdog before making such a trip – something he inexplicably failed to do. The ruling comes just weeks before the end of Dawson’s term, which is set to expire on Jan. 8.
While the reaction in Canadian markets was muted, the conviction represents a major blemish on Trudeau’s international reputation as a standard-bearer for globalist liberalism.
This is the second major scandal for Trudeau’s liberal government, which over the summer bungled the rollout of its tax-reform plan. Here’s a recap, per the Huffington Post:
The Liberals’ image as champions of the middle class took another self-inflicted hit in the summer, when Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced tax reform proposals he maintained were aimed at stopping the wealthy from using incorporation of their small businesses to gain unfair tax advantages.
The badly-communicated plan backfired, triggering an avalanche of criticism from doctors, lawyers, accountants, farmers and shopkeepers, who resented the implication that they were tax cheats, and pushback from premiers and even some Liberal backbenchers. Morneau ended up scrapping some proposals and softening others.
The furor drew attention to Morneau’s own personal wealth and the fact that upon his appointment to cabinet he did not divest or put in a blind trust some $20 million worth of shares in Morneau Shepell, the giant pension management and human resources company founded by his father.
Trudeau is expected to hold a press conference to address the decision at 1:15 pm ET.