The Ethics Commissioner has launched an inquiry to determine whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Code when he stayed at the Aga Khan's private island.
The inquiry follows the Commissioner's decision last month to launch an investigation to determine whether the same trip had been a breach of the Conflict of Interest Act.
In both cases, Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson was following up on complaints from Conservative MPs about the Prime Minister's decision to take his family to a private island owned by the billionaire Ismaili leader, whose foundation lobbies the federal government.
"We cannot tell you anything else at this time, as our Office is required to conduct all investigations in confidence," said Margot Booth, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
The Conflict of Interest Code offers rules to avoid conflicts of interests, with no defined sanctions beyond a public rebuke in the event of a contravention. The Conflict of Interest Act provides a legislative regime that governs the "ethical conduct" of public office holders, during and after their work for the Canadian government. Breaches of the act can lead to fines of up to $500.
Mr. Trudeau and his family flew to Nassau aboard a government Challenger jet in late December. He was joined on the vacation by Liberal MP Seamus O'Regan and his husband, as well as Liberal Party president Anna Gainey and her husband, Tom Pitfield, president of the Canada 2020 think tank.
They used their host's private helicopter to reach the secluded residence.
Mr. Trudeau's Open and Accountable Government rules state that "ministers and parliamentary secretaries must not accept sponsored travel … this includes all travel, non-commercial, chartered or private aircraft for any purpose except in exceptional circumstances" without the approval of the Ethics Commissioner.