Visit to the Aga Khan: Trudeau will not have to be justified by parliamentary committee

Photo: Sean Kilptarick The canadian Press
By accepting a trip on the private island of the Aga Khan (right), Justin Trudeau has violated the Law on conflict of interests.

Justin Trudeau will not have to be justified by the parliamentary committee having accepted a trip on the private island of the Aga Khan in 2016-2017, and, in doing so, contravened the Law on conflict of interests. Its liberal members of parliament, the majority in the committee, have blocked invitation in the sense that the opposition wished to send him.


The Parliament is not yet back from the Holidays, but the standing Committee on access to information, privacy and ethics held a special meeting Tuesday afternoon at the request of the conservative Peter Kent.


Mr. Kent, seconded by the New democratic Party, hoped to get an invitation to attend for the prime minister to explain to the rest of the report filed just before Christmas by the commissioner, Mary Dawson. Mr Kent has not received the support needed.


The six liberal members of parliament sitting on the committee voted against the request to appear in court, while both the conservatives and the néodémocrate have voted for it. The liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has justified its position by the fact that the prime minister could explain to other opportunities.


“The objection may of course ask questions during the question period when the House will resume its work [in late January], and on Wednesday, there will be periods devoted to the prime minister. And the prime minister also began his tour of the country and this will be the opportunity for Canadians to ask him questions, ” said Mr. Erskine-Smith.


His colleague Mona Fortier has held just after him the same speech, but in French. If they were told by the prime minister’s office on how to vote ? They ensure that not.


“Knowing that we met today [Tuesday], we had the opportunity to speak to and we were all on the same wavelength,” said Ms. Fortier.


The opposition does not believe a word. “It is quite clear that the liberal members of the committee have followed the line that the prime minister had established [in the morning] “, claimed Peter Kent.


Mr. Trudeau said in a radio interview Tuesday morning that he saw this invitation as an “offensive partisan,” and he embarked on a tour of the country to get out precisely to the ” Ottawa bubble “.


The PM in committee ? Rare.


A first minister has appeared in the parliamentary committee that on two occasions in recent canadian history. Pierre Elliott Trudeau had appeared on budgetary issues in 1981 or 1982 (stories vary as to the date).


Stephen Harper did in 2006, on its own initiative. It was a committee of the senate and he wanted to promote his reform of the Senate.


In 2008, the parliamentary Committee of ethics — where the opposition held the majority, with the government being in a minority — had managed to vote an invitation for Mr. Harper to come and be explained in the case involving his minister Maxime Bernier and his wife to the relations of disorders Julie Couillard. Mr. Harper had refused to appear.


In 2013, the liberals, then in opposition, had put forward a motion calling on Stephen Harper to appear at committee to explain his role in the matter of Mike Duffy. Again, the prime minister had refused to go.


The néodémocrate Nathan Cullen deplores the fact that it uses the past to justify a refusal today. “I thought that this government was different “, he launched. He recalled that it is the first time that a prime minister is contravening the Law on conflict of interests and, as such, ” the response should be different “.