OTTAWA — sun glasses Ray-Ban. A leather handbag, limited edition. Beauty products, jewelry, plush, shoes, luggage, children’s clothing, sports accessories.
The prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, are being flooded with gifts from dignitaries and world leaders.
These gifts often protocol is in addition, however, those of private companies, in the hope that the family of the canadian prime minister will have their designer clothing and accessories.
The commissioner of conflict of interest and ethics, Mario Dion, says that all of the gifts contained in the public register have obtained the approval of its bureau, and therefore comply with the law.
By virtue thereof, any holder of a public office must publicly declare gifts of a value greater than $ 200 and assign to the Crown those worth more than $ 1000, unless you pay yourself the difference. Gifts that could reasonably be seen as an attempt to influence the performance of official duties must be declined, with a few exceptions.
The office of ethics has determined that the clothes and fashion accessories offered to the family Trudeau are one of those exceptions.
But the spokesman of the New democratic Party regarding ethics, Charlie Angus, believes that this growing trend is “problematic”.
“What is worrying is that the fashion brands send clothes to the family because it is a family that is really in the spotlight, really in the world of Instagram and there is a real benefit for a company to make them wear their brand of clothing as a gift”, supports the elected ontario.
“The link with the pecuniary interests of these businesses is clear and direct”, he noted.
In fact, designers often make lather their brand with the help of photographs where we can see the Trudeau appearing with their creations.
North Kinder, for example, has offered the prime minister clothes for her son, Hadrian, in July last. A month later, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau published on social networks a photo which the boy was wearing a t-shirt signed North Kinder. The company established in Vancouver then shared the photo on its own page Facebook for promotional purposes. This phenomenon is relatively new in the political landscape of canada.
The Law on conflict of interests is in force since 2007 and has therefore applied to the two governments, namely those of Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper.
Mr. Harper also had a right to his lot to present : paintings, sculptures, and even gifts more personalized, particularly in connection with his love of the Beatles.
According to Charlie Angus, the clothes and accessories of fashion designers of canadians are, however, in a whole other category, that had more to do with the gifts given to the celebrities and even members of the royal family.
“We are dealing with a new kind of policy that is very focused on the politician as a star, and nobody in the world embodies as well as Justin Trudeau and the family Trudeau,” says Mr Angus.
Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy watch, believes that the family Trudeau would have to pay out of pocket to rent or borrow clothes in which she wishes to promote.
According to a senior official interviewed by The canadian Press, some of the articles listed in the register of gifts Sophie Grégoire Trudeau had been borrowed or have then been donated to charities.