Date for legalized pot is 'next summer' - not July 1, Trudeau says

Date for legalized pot is 'next summer' - not July 1, Trudeau says

The federal ethics commissioner has found Mr Trudeau's luxury trips to the Aga Khan's island in the Bahamas violated four conflict of interest rules.

Ms. Dawson rejected the Prime Minister's assertion that the free flights to the island did not violate the rules because of the "exceptional circumstances" related to the secluded nature of the residence.

She also found that he did not break conflict of interest rules when he accepted the gift of a vacation in 2014 when he was a member of Parliament. The Conflict of Interest Act came into force in 2006, under former prime minister Stephen Harper.

The prime minister said it "would not be July 1", but that it would be "for next summer".

At a news conference, Mr. Trudeau said he has drawn lessons from the report and will proactively check all family trips beforehand to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. The vacations are gifts under the conflict of interest regimes that Dawson administers.

Trudeau contravened another section of the act when he didn't recuse himself from discussions that "provided an opportunity to improperly further the private interest associated with one of the institutions of the Aga Khan", Dawson said in the report. Trudeau contravened the act "when members of his family accepted the Aga Khan's gift of hospitality and the use of his private island in March 2016 and when he and his family accepted the Aga Khan's gift of hospitality in December 2016".

The report also notes that a "senior American official of a previous administration" and friends were present during the December 2016 stay. "The Aga Khan wrote that he told Mr. Trudeau that because Mr. Trudeau's public life as an elected official affords little private family vacation time, he and his family should feel free to vacation at Bells Cay", the report said.

The Act allows for some exemptions for gifts from relatives and friends, though in the report Dawson concluded that Trudeau and the Aga Khan can not be characterized as friends.




Her investigations showed that besides the Aga Khan's attendance at the funeral of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in 2000, the younger Trudeau had no interactions with the Aga Khan between 1983 and the fall of 2013, a span of 30 years.

Going forward, Trudeau vowed to clear all family vacations with the ethics watchdog in advance in order to avoid conflicts.

Dawson concluded the trips could be seen as an attempt to influence Trudeau, particularly when the Aga Khan's foundation was registered to lobby the Office of the Prime Minister.

Despite Dawson's findings, Trudeau insisted that he considers the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world's Ismaili Muslims, a personal, long-time friend.

"I take full responsibility for it". We need to make sure that the office of the prime minister is without reproach'.

The Aga Khan, a prominent philanthropist, has business ties with the Canadian government and there was "ongoing official business between the Government of Canada and the Aga Khan at the time each invitation was accepted", Dawson found.

There is an exception in the act for gifts or "other advantages" from friends or relatives, but Dawson ruled it didn't apply because "Trudeau and the Aga Khan can not be characterized as friends".

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