OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives are asking the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner to probe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vacation in Jamaica and how his staff handled the detail that he stayed for free.
Conservative MP and ethics critic Michael Barrett sent a letter to Konrad von Finckenstein on Tuesday asking whether he knew Trudeau was staying at a luxury estate owned by a family friend.
Barrett says the vacation is “not the equivalent of staying at a friend’s home” calling it instead a gift with commercial value.
The Canadian Press has not independently verified a National Post report that Trudeau vacationed at a luxury estate where villas rent for thousands of dollars a night during the holiday season.
Before leaving, the Prime Minister’s Office said he would be paying for the cost of the 10-day trip.
Just before Trudeau returned, his office clarified that while he did reimburse the equivalent of the commercial airline tickets, the family stayed for free at the home of family friends, adding that they had consulted with the ethics commissioner on those details prior to travel.
A spokeswoman for von Finckenstein would not say last week what details the Prime Minister’s Office provided but did say the Conflict of Interest Act allows for a public office holder to accept gifts or other advantages if they come from a friend or relative, without having to disclose them.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published
The Canadian Press