Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas cost taxpayers more than the government revealed to Parliament, CBC News has learned.
In addition to the initial $127,187 disclosed in documents tabled in the House of Commons, the government spent $6,695 to transport a Privy Council Office technician from Nassau to Bell Island by seaplane along with 400 pounds of equipment.
That brings the total cost to taxpayers as a result of Trudeau’s vacation to the exclusive island to $133,883.
The revelation also raises questions about Trudeau’s explanation for why he travelled from Nassau to Bell Island aboard the Aga Khan’s private helicopter.
Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson is conducting an investigation following complaints about the trip and allegations that Trudeau violated government rules, which prohibit the prime minister, cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries from accepting free travel on non-commercial chartered or private aircraft without prior approval from the ethics commissioner.
As prime minister, Trudeau is also restricted for security reasons to travelling on government of Canada aircraft — even when on vacation.
Trudeau has defended the decision to hop aboard the Aga Khan’s helicopter, insisting it was the only way to get to Bell Island.
“The travel back and forth from Nassau to the island happens on the Aga Khan’s private helicopter, which he offered us the use of,” Trudeau told reporters in Kingston, Ont., on Jan. 12.
“The fact is, as I have said many times, the Aga Khan is a personal family friend and travel to and from the island only happens through private means,” he later added.
The technician, however, made the same trip from Nassau to Bell Island aboard a commercially chartered Cessna 208 seaplane. The nine-seat…