Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Trudeau defends his stay in Jamaica during the holidays

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured that all the rules were respected during his vacation.

The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Wednesday that all rules were followed during his recent vacation in Jamaica, as the opposition insists that the ethics commissioner appear before parliamentarians to answer questions about this trip.

At a special meeting of the House of Commons ethics committee on Wednesday, Liberal MPs said they were not opposed to the idea of ​​27 ;invite the acting commissioner, Konrad von Finckenstein, to testify.

But they said they wanted his appearance to include an explanation detailed travel rules set out in the Conflict of Interest Act.

Liberal MP Mona Fortier argued that any investigation into the issue requires a thorough understanding of how the law works, to ensure citizens can maintain their trust in their democratic institutions.

Earlier this month, the prime minister's political entourage said the family was staying for free at a place owned by family friends, after earlier saying Mr. Trudeau would cover the cost. cost of stay.

LoadingA third union affiliated with the FAE recommends the rejection of the agreement in principle

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: A third union affiliated with the FAE recommends the rejection of the agreement in principle

The Prime Minister's office said it had consulted the Ethics Commissioner and that the family would reimburse the state for travel expenses on a government plane.

Like many Canadian families, we went to stay with friends for the Christmas vacation [and] all the rules were followed, Mr. Trudeau told reporters Wednesday morning during a press conference in New York. Brunswick.

The question is not whether the Prime Minister should take a vacation: everyone is entitled to it, and that's fine.

A quote from Michael Barrett, Conservative ethics critic

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Michael Barrett, Conservative Party critic on the Commons ethics committee (File photo)

The problem lies in changing discourse from the Prime Minister's Office, added the Conservative MP. This is incredibly problematic.

At the origin of the request for a committee meeting, Mr. Barrett indicated that he wanted to know whether Mr. Trudeau had misled the ethics commissioner. To this end, he asks the Commons committee to invite Acting Commissioner Konrad von Finckenstein to testify.

In accordance with the As usual practice, the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner was consulted before the trip to ensure that the rules were respected, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister wrote last week , Mohammad Hussain.

Any allegation that we could mislead the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is categorically false.

A quote by Mohammad Hussain, a spokesperson for the prime minister

Mr. Barrett said he asked the Acting Commissioner's Office for his communications with the Prime Minister's Office about the trip, but was denied.

Liberal MP Pam Damoff argued at the committee meeting Wednesday morning that this decision was justified. She explained that conversations between the Office of the Ethics Commissioner and MPs should be kept private so politicians can feel comfortable seeking advice.

The Conflict of Interest Act allows politicians to accept gifts and other benefits only from relatives or family friends with whom they have close ties. documented. Mr. Trudeau had already broken this rule when he was a guest of the Aga Khan for the family holiday vacation in 2016.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) is instead calling for a review of the Conflict of Interest Act. Liberals and Conservatives point fingers at each other when they curry favor with their rich friends, but then refuse to change the rules because they benefit them and the ultra-rich, wrote NDP House Leader Peter Julian .

New Democrats want a review of the Conflict of Interest Act with the aim of truly cracking down on influence corporations and lobbyists in politics, so that it is ordinary Canadians who succeed, not the ultra-rich.

Earlier this month, the National Post wrote that Mr. Trudeau was staying at a luxurious estate owned by his old friend Peter Green. The Canadian Press has not independently verified the information and officials declined to confirm where Mr. Trudeau was staying.

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