OTTAWA — Here's a selection of some quotes Wednesday after the federal ethics commissioner concluded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated conflict of interest rules when he vacationed at the private island owned by the Aga Khan:
"Because there was ongoing official business between the Government of Canada and the Aga Khan at the time each invitation was accepted, Mr. Trudeau, as Prime Minister, was in a position to be able to advance some of the matters of interest to the Aga Khan. As well, the Foundation was registered to lobby the Office of the Prime Minister at that time. For these reasons, I determined that the vacations accepted by Mr. Trudeau or his family might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence Mr. Trudeau." — report by federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson.
"This is an important issue. We have a system in place to protect the integrity of the office of prime minister and the integrity of our institutions. And it is important that as we move forward we learn from this mistake. I take full responsibility for it. We need to make sure that the office of the prime minister is without reproach and in the future, including on family friends and personal family trips, we will be proactively working with the office of the commissioner to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, no appearance of conflict of interest." — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"I consider the Aga Khan to be a family friend. I fully accept the report of the Commissioner. Her responsibility is to protect the integrity of the office. She made a determination that he is not a family friend. I still consider him a family friend, but moving forward, even on people I consider to be family friends or friends, I will be proactively checking with the Aga, with the Commissioner on any personal travel and vacations." — Trudeau.
"I know that the Liberals would like to try to make it seem like this wasn't a big deal, that this was potentially a lack of judgment or a lapse in judgment. But it's important that Canadians can have confidence in their institutions and in their politicians — in people who have great power in this country. The prime minister and the finance minister being the two most powerful politicians in our system. And that in order to be trusted with that power, they have to be open and transparent and accountable." — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
"It's really troubling. I can be honest with you, I had a lot of hope in this government. I had a lot of hope in this prime minister, thinking that things would be done differently, that we would have a government that we could have trust in ... This is unprecedented. It's never happened in the history of our country, as far as we're aware, that a sitting prime minister has broken these laws, has broken these ethics laws, has been found to be in contravention by the ethics commissioner." — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.