Trudeau to dine with the Aga Khan in Ottawa

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will dine with the Aga Khan on Wednesday — part of the spiritual leader’s tour through Canada to mark his diamond jubilee.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Trudeau and the Aga Khan will share a meal at an event hosted by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General.

“Canada and the Ismaili Imamat have a long history of partnership with programs around the world that have a positive impact on people’s lives. We have worked together on a number of development and humanitarian initiatives that target the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, including women and girls,” said a press release from Global Affairs Canada announcing the Aga Khan’s visit.

The Aga Khan will also travel to Vancouver and Calgary as he celebrates 60 years as the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim faith.

Known for his charitable work, the Aga Khan was at the centre of a political headache for Trudeau last year when it was revealed the prime minister traveled to the Muslim leader’s private island in the Bahamas for a Christmas vacation.

The former ethics commissioner, Mary Dawson, ultimately found the vacation breached four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act. She criticized Trudeau for failing to consider the potential ethical pitfalls of accepting a free vacation to the private island when the federal government has dealings with the Aga Khan’s foundation.

Trudeau defended the trip as a chance to spend time with an old friend. In her report, Dawson concluded that — apart from the Aga Khan’s attendance at the funeral of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in 2000 — the younger Trudeau had no interactions with him between 1983 and the fall of 2013, a span of 30 years.

Trudeau and his family stayed at the Aga Khan’s home on Bell Island in the Bahamas from Dec. 26, 2016, to Jan. 4, 2017. Trudeau later publicly confirmed he was taken there by the Aga Khan’s private helicopter.

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