The term of Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson ends in early 2018, and if the probe into Trudeau’s Bahamas trip isn’t completed by then, the new commissioner could end the investigation.
The investigation into Justin Trudeau’s trip to the Aga Khan’s billionaire private island has been going on for a long-time, with many wondering what the hold-up is.
After all, it shouldn’t take months and months to figure out whether Trudeau violated ethics laws by accepting private flights and lodging from somebody who runs a foundation that has received a large amount of Canadian taxpayers money.
The delay has led some to question whether the government is seeking to ensure that the investigation turns out in Trudeau’s favour, out of fear of the political consequences if he was found to be the first sitting PM in history to be found in violation of a federal statute.
Now, concerns about the investigation are growing.
As noted by the Hill Times, “Ms. Dawson’s last day of work is Jan. 8, but it’s unclear if the report will be public by that time. If Ms. Dawson doesn’t finish her ongoing conflict-of-interest investigations into Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau by Jan. 8, it is up to the new conflict of interest and ethics commissioner to decide whether to continue the investigations, start over, or drop any or all probes altogether.”
The report also points out that communications & media advisor for the Ethics Commisioner Alison Zinni wrote, “The Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons are silent on whether an examination or inquiry started under one commissioner may be continued by another. It would be up to a new commissioner to decide what approach to take.”
This means that the Trudeau government will have control over who replaces the Ethics Commissioner, thus controlling the person who will decide whether the investigation will continue.
Even if the investigation isn’t ultimately cancelled, the fact that the government gets to appoint their own ethics commissioner will raise serious doubts about the final result.
Clearly, that’s a huge conflict of interest for the Trudeau government, as it is in their political interest to push the new commissioner to drop the investigation.
The doubts surrounding the whole situation will push more Canadians to see the entire government apparatus as a rigged system that is designed to let elitist politicians get away with everything.