OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’ll abstain from any future discussions or decisions regarding the Aga Khan and his institutions.
Trudeau says he’s establishing what’s called a conflict of interest screen to ensure he’s not involved in related matters.
The move comes after the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner found Trudeau contravened four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act in relation to vacations on a private island owned by the Aga Khan in 2016.
Trudeau had defended the trip on the grounds that the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims, is a close personal friend.
But the commissioner said the two couldn’t be considered friends, and the trip could be seen as a gift to influence Trudeau since the Aga Khan’s institutions and projects receive government funding.
Trudeau says he’ll inform the commissioner of anything he becomes aware of that relates to the Aga Khan in order to prevent a conflict of interest.
The screen will be overseen by Trudeau’s chief of staff and the head of the Privy Council Office, the chief civil servant who works for the prime minister.
“In the event that any issue or matter subject to the conflict of interest screen is not caught by that screen and comes before me, I undertake to recuse myself from that issue or matter,” reads the compliance agreement, dated Jan. 18.