Ottawa is challenging a judge’s ruling that directed the lobbying commissioner to take another look at whether the Aga Khan broke rules by giving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a vacation in the Bahamas.
In a filing with the Federal Court of Appeal, the government says it’s up to Parliament, not the courts, to determine who should be covered by lobbying legislation.
In September 2017, then-commissioner Karen Shepherd said there was no basis to a complaint that the Aga Khan, a billionaire philanthropist, had violated the code for lobbyists by allowing Trudeau and his family to stay on his private island in the Caribbean.
She found no evidence the Aga Khan was paid for his work as a director of a foundation registered to lobby the federal government and therefore concluded the code did not apply to his interactions with Trudeau.
Ottawa-based group Democracy Watch challenged the ruling in Federal Court.
In its decision earlier this month, the court called Shepherd’s ruling unreasonable and directed Nancy Belanger, who has since become lobbying commissioner, to re-examine the matter.