Canada: Trudeau’s trip to Aga Khan’s private island kept secret to protect privacy, PMO says

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with the Aga Khan in Ottawa last May. A longtime friend of the Trudeaus, the Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the Nizari Ismaili community. (SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)

Source: The Star

The prime minister and his family took a government jet to the Bahamas during the holidays and stayed at the billionaire Aga Khan’s privately owned Bell Island.

OTTAWA—The Prime Minister’s Office is defending Justin Trudeau’s secret family vacation — in which he, his wife and children took a government jet to the Bahamas and stayed at the billionaire Aga Khan’s private island — stating it was necessary to protect their privacy during the holidays.

“Like many Canadians, the prime minister and his family spent private time together over the holiday season,” Trudeau’s press secretary, Cameron Ahmad, said in an emailed statement.

“In order to protect the privacy of the prime minister and his family, we do not disclose the locations of their vacations prior to their departure.”

The revelation came after days of public pressure on Trudeau’s office to reveal where he was vacationing during the holidays. His daily itinerary, which typically outlines the prime minister’s schedule and appearances, simply said: “Personal.”

Ahmad said the prime minister, his family and “a few friends” were invited to the Aga Khan’s privately owned Bell Island for the holidays. Trudeau and his family took a government Challenger jet, following “long-standing” personal and business travel protocol for the prime minister, while their accompanying friends got there by other means, he added.

The Trudeaus will reimburse the public for the equivalent cost of commercial flights to and from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, Ahmad said.

“As you are aware, his highness (the Aga Khan) and the prime minister have been close family friends for many years,” Ahmad said.

A similar situation played out last year, when Trudeau was photographed during the holidays by an American celebrity gossip website at a lavish resort in St. Kitts and Nevis. After keeping his holiday details secret, the PMO was forced to explain that Trudeau and his family covered their expenses during their Caribbean sojourn.

 

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