January 16, 2017

Trudeau’s “fancy” vacation may come back to bite him

Brian LilleyArchive

Justin’s fancy pants vacation on the private island of a billionaire complete with a massive yacht and private helicopter trips, may be biting him in the butt as he’s now the first Canadian Prime Minister in history to face an investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. 

Liberals will be quick to say that the office only came into being in 2007, which is true. But, Stephen Harper was never investigated or found to be in violation of the law, and the current office is just a redesign of the previous office first set up in 1974 by Pierre Trudeau.

Can you name me a PM that has been under investigation since Pierre?

Congrats Justin, you did in a year what others couldn’t do in their whole careers.

The commissioner, Mary Dawson, replied to a formal complaint letter written by Conservative MP Blaine Calkins indicating she sees two potential conflicts — accepting the trip and flying on private aircraft, which federal law explicitly forbids cabinet ministers from doing.

It should be a pretty easy case to examine since Trudeau admits taking the vacation and taking a helicopter ride, all for free.

His attempt at an out is to claim that the Aga Khan, the billionaire philanthropist and owner of the island, is a friend but this shouldn’t hold any water given the amount of business his foundation does with the Canadian government - $310M in grants to the foundation since 2004 and $55M just last year when Trudeau was in charge of the giant federal cookie jar.

This should be an open and shut case but of course, Dawson has a history of going easy on the politicians she’s in charge of monitoring.

Just before Christmas, she excused Health Minister Jane Philpott for using a limo service that was owned by a Liberal donor and campaign volunteer and according to media reports and Philpott’s own words, taxpayers had paid too much for the service.

Despite all of that, Dawson found no issue with the cozy relationship.

So while Trudeau is the first PM to be investigated, it’s a long way from him being the first found in violation of the act and fined a whopping $500 per offence.

But, just last week as Trudeau was dismissing the idea that he had done anything wrong by accepting a free vacation on a tropical island, the little people were being reminded not to take free muffins at conferences. I’m not making this up.

A memo went out to staff at the Canada Revenue Agency from Roch Huppe, the Values and Ethics Champion, reminding them that when they attend conferences there might be hospitality that is sponsored by a stakeholder group - like a tax law firm for example - and not covered by the conference fees that the agency had paid.

Huppe reminds agency staff, “As CRA employees, we have a duty to maintain the CRA’s strong reputation for integrity. We must always look beyond our intentions and motives and consider how the public might see our actions.”

Well that is the opposite of what Justin Trudeau did.

Most people outside of Ottawa wouldn’t know this but rules for federal employees are so strict that you can’t accept any kind of gift from an organization you do business with.

The Ottawa Senators, the capital’s NHL team, regularly put together a solid team that play some amazing hockey but they have to work harder than most organizations to sell tickets. Why?

Employees of the biggest business in town aren’t allowed to accept tickets as gifts. In every arena and stadium across North America the seats are filled with people doing business with each other but federal employees in Ottawa can’t accept a ticket to a hockey game, yet, the PM can accept a tropical vacation on a private island?

Trudeau really does think he is above the rules doesn’t he.

Rules are for the little people, those who get memos from the Values and Ethics Champion. They aren’t for Justin, who is above it all and apparently has no one to tell him no.

Stephen LeDrew, a Toronto lawyer and broadcaster is also a former president of the Liberal Party of Canada. In a column for the Toronto Sun, LeDrew said Trudeau’s PMO shows a lack of common sense, noting the Party president could have warned him, but she was on the trip too!

“Is there no one who has the good sense to tell the PM what works, what is defensible, what flies (or more importantly, what shouldn’t be flying?), or is the arrogance of Trudeau’s Ottawa so pervasive that it is above the law, the rules, and above what most Canadians call “common sense”?

I’d say the arrogance is so pervasive they really do think they’re above the law.

But there is a chance to bring Trudeau and his Liberals back down to earth.

If the Ethics Commissioner holds Trudeau to the same standard the little people are held to — those that get memos from Roch Huppe, the Values and Ethics Champion at CRA — if Trudeau is held to that standard, then he’ll be the first PM found in violation of the law and it might be enough to make them see how out of touch and arrogant they really have become.

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commented 2017-01-17 11:56:31 -0500
Let me get this straight.

From 2004 to 2015, Canada gave just over $28,000,000 to the Aga Khan’s foundation!
Trudeau just about doubled that in 2016?
Is there no sanity in Ottawa?
I realize that the Ontario government shot down many mental institutions and cut a lot of funding to help people with mental issues, but little did I realize that all the nutcases ended up the nation’s capital.
What about our disintegrating infrastructure and poorly funded health care system?
Would the $28,000,000 help to improve both?
The ethics commission should start investigating cash flow.
When I was employed by a company (now closed due to the low cost of offshore products), we often purchased machinery from Germany.
The German reps had a term " schmiergeld" which loosely translated mean lubrication.
It was understood that if you purchased their equipment, you got a kick back under the table in the form of cash.
So, I am wondering.
If Trudeau gave $50,000,000 to the Aga Khan, how much is he receiving in the form of a kick back?
Ten or fifteen percent?
I don’t think Trudeau is crooked!
I KNOW he is!
After all, he is a politician!
commented 2017-01-17 11:35:30 -0500
Damage control tour from coast to coast to coast by Justin is coasting at it’s finest.
Keeping talking points in order is key to success. He did it to get elected.
Using that many words to say nothing is an art worthy of the GHGs emitted.
A.I. by definition will never replace Justin. If it does the machines will win.
commented 2017-01-17 09:24:07 -0500
My understanding of government Grants are that they do not have to be paid back, grants are free money, $55 Million last year alone might be considered a “gift” due to its size. what did taxpayers get in return?
The Optics on Trudeau’s response is awful. Grow up.
There are no blurry lines here, this is a conflict of interest. $310 Million buys a lot of life long friends Mr. Prime Minister.
commented 2017-01-17 09:13:19 -0500
“Silly Rabbit, Laws are for Conservatives.” and tricks are for Lieberals.
commented 2017-01-17 01:42:24 -0500
Silly Rabbit, Laws are for Conservatives.
commented 2017-01-17 01:41:49 -0500
Bob Urban i need to eat food now and then to survive , that comment about going down on Wynne may prevent me from doing so ever again. And though i hate Justin, that would be an inhuman punishment , even for him.
commented 2017-01-16 21:21:57 -0500
Glenn Craig commented – Speaking of which did you see him respond to that woman who was in tears over the carbon tax?"

Glenn this was the moment of truth for PM selfie, he revealed to me the sociopathic disconnect (contempt?) with struggling working Canadians – this woman left with $65 after paying for shelter and over inflated green energy – and he is poised to take the bulk of the $65 left to her with carbon tax cost inflation on food – he was totally unmoved and offered only a lie.
commented 2017-01-16 21:14:28 -0500
They haven’t become arrogant, they started that way. As an MP , Justin missed more time in cabinet than any MP in history
commented 2017-01-16 21:11:42 -0500
The whole story is repulsive from beginning to end. Trudeau knew he was in the wrong, the selfie-king didn’t post one photo with the world’s greatest philanthropist? He called the Aga Khan a “close friend” – really? The people I call close – I have held their babies when born, visited their parents daily when they had dementia, babysat, cooked up a storm for them, cried at movies on a couch together, went to weddings, funerals, baptisms, b’nai-mizvah and cycled over to their houses at 3am when somebody died – you can only have about 5 of those at most! I wish I had time to holiday with each!
commented 2017-01-16 20:48:16 -0500
You know the story that David Menzies covered on the ‘golden shower’? Well, piss on you Trudeau, you’re not going to get away this one.
Write to Mary Dawson and tell her to ‘do her job and do it properly’.
commented 2017-01-16 20:01:53 -0500
The leftist bureaucrat will find that the Rule Of Law doesn’t apply to members of the Liberal Party.
commented 2017-01-16 19:53:31 -0500
Billy Howard-that’s the clincher Brian didn’t mention. Trudeau gave her a 6 month extension while he decides if he keeps her on or replaces her. How badly does she want to keep her job? Talk about a conflict of interest.
commented 2017-01-16 19:37:30 -0500
Why isn’t the punishment for willful disregard of this tenant not a vote of non-confidence?
commented 2017-01-16 19:14:54 -0500
Can we not get a no confidence vote or something, I can’t watch this Canadian clown show much longer
commented 2017-01-16 18:50:48 -0500
The liberal party, Trudeau’s selfie fan club, and most of the media would be OK with it if Trudeau exercised jus primae noctis…


Speaking of which did you see him respond to that woman who was in tears over the carbon tax?

Mr Trudeau….has it occurred to you how many women you have elbowed in the tit of delicate household budget with your bull in the budget china shop approach.? Of course not …you have been too busy shopping for Chinese pay for play tycoons
commented 2017-01-16 18:47:51 -0500
The fiberals all know that they can change whatever law they want for whatever reason, and there’s little us peons can do about it.
commented 2017-01-16 18:45:27 -0500
$500.00 fine, big deal, the kid lights his joints with C notes.
commented 2017-01-16 18:31:20 -0500
We are just dealing with the same old, same old Laurentians. I still find it weird the previous two Liberal P/M’s are silent about supporting Baby Doc though.
commented 2017-01-16 18:11:11 -0500
DEB GRAUPNER….More likely that financial considerations and outcomes were pre-determined before they even announced taking on the case. It is after all, the libs.

BILL ELDER….Whatever became of the cocaine smuggling on Martin’s ship? I don’t recall hearing how that washed out.

BOB URBAN….If he did as you request I would be willing to give him a pass this one time. Sadly I don’t think he has enough guts to take on such a task. It would have to be carried live on cbc as well. As for me I’d rather take on a half rotten old salmon on the river bank. I just threw up in my mouth..A LOT!

As for tiny tubor, I’ll cut him a tiny bit of slack.(I know this is OUT of character for me). But one must imagine being brought up by one of the all time poster boys in displaying arrogance.PET. Baby learned from the best and is doing his best to emulate dear old dad. And mommy dearest, the quasi hooker-groupie who trolled the groovy spots for rock celebs etc., well what can you say? This is why Mary Dawson should probably add a straight jacket to the punishment when she throws the $500 book at him. Joke….nevertheless…..GUUILTY
commented 2017-01-16 18:05:46 -0500
Apparently a case of Rex lex.
commented 2017-01-16 18:02:57 -0500
Come on Alberta, "Lock him up, lock him up. lock him up. Everybody join in- “lock him up, lock him up….”
Any one else? Join the refrain…
commented 2017-01-16 18:01:51 -0500
Since Monsef was not run out of town by Island Boy I’m sure the ethics commission won’t see any thing wrong with the vacation on Canada’s dime. 50 million to the toddlers dear family friend no conflict of interest here folks.
commented 2017-01-16 17:49:10 -0500
Come on we can all bitch about what is going on but let’s be realistic ethics commission has already been paid off by thi libs and nothing will happen . He will come on CBC and say ah ah ah I’m ah ah sorry da da da .
commented 2017-01-16 17:41:39 -0500
Even if Dawson finds Trudeau guilty, she won’t use terms describing the breach as serious. She was given a 6 month extension as ethics commissioner for a reason, don’t you know.
CBC/MSM will assist in diminishing this “slight” transgression. It will all go away as usual.
JT and the Libranos don’t think they’re above the law, the KNOW they’re above the law.
commented 2017-01-16 17:36:52 -0500
There will be NO punishment to Trudeau from the government. A conflict of interest in any other job would lead to immediate termination! But not in Canada!!

The only recourse will be from the voters, which I doubt will have the memory to serve that little cuck his walking papers next election… just look at the liberal rule of Ontario for the last 13 years, despite multiple billion dollar scandals, increased taxes, doubling of the debt and unaffordable hydro… Ontario idiots still manage to vote to support their own demise!!
commented 2017-01-16 16:57:56 -0500
Teflon Trudeau, I don’t think any wrong doing will stick to him
commented 2017-01-16 16:46:57 -0500
Rumor has it that he signed off on some documents while he was there as well..
Rumor didn’t go into detail about the documents only that some were signed off on.!!
As far as the ethics committee goes there’s no way that they can find him innocent without setting precedents to new law and if that’s the case the ethics committee should be held before the ethics committee.
commented 2017-01-16 16:43:00 -0500
If he’s really sorry he should go down on Wynne to prove it!! I just threw up in my mouth a little ..
commented 2017-01-16 16:42:07 -0500
The only possible positive thing about this investigation is that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics office was established by the Conservatives.

But then again, knowing that Liberals infest the federal government like a pernicious and insidious disease, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics office is probably now disease ridden as well, so Truedope will no doubt get a pass, and certainly if the CBC even bothers to report on the findings of the investigation, they will play defense for him.

Same old same old.
commented 2017-01-16 16:41:50 -0500
Prince Tater tot is just practicing Selfie etiquette ; “I can do no wrong, I need to get what I want and it’s all about me and my needs” – There is a reason Trudeau is not on political thin ice with these attitudes – his voting block think the same way.

As for your Question Brian, I seem to recall PM Paul Martin facing the ethics commissioner (or his prototype) over conflict of interest charges when it was discovered he was still CEO of CSL while finance minister and gave CSL a wonderful tax dodge. It was a clear case of criminal collusion but if I recall, Martin fired the commissioner, hired a new one (a pal) who exonerated him and the files on the matter were sealed as state secrets.

The Libranos – organized crime on capital hill for over 60 years