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Canada’s Trudeau fined $100 but will he learn?

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been fined $100 and it wouldn’t be the first time he is falling fowl of the law which seeks to guide against unethical practices

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Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been fined $100 and it wouldn’t be the first time he is falling fowl of the law which seeks to guide against unethical practices.

The country’s parliament ethics watchdog fined Trudeau with a fine for breaking the Conflict of Interest Act over a pair of sunglasses.

Trudeau paid $100 for failing to declare a gift worth more than $200 within 30 days of accepting it, according to a notice from the office of Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion. It was posted online sometime this month.

“As a result of an administrative error, the proper forms were not completed and the gift was not declared within 30 days,” said Trudeau’s press secretary Eleanore Catenaro in an email Friday.

The gift, according to the prime minister’s public declaration, was two pairs of leather-covered sunglasses made by Fellow Earthlings eyewear, based in the rural P.E.I. community of Guernsey Cove.

They were a gift from P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan last summer and retail between $300 and $500.

The fine was first reported by the Ottawa-based website Blacklock’s Reporter.

Trudeau sported the sunglasses on his trip to Vietnam in 2017.

It’s not the first time the prime minister has been caught on the wrong side of the Conflict of Interest Act.

Dion’s predecessor, Mary Dawson, ruled last year that Trudeau violated some provisions of the act when he vacationed on a private island owned by the Aga Khan during the 2016 Christmas season and took a private helicopter to get there.

She said the vacation could reasonably be seen as an effort to influence Mr. Trudeau in his capacity as prime minister.

Dawson also fined Finance Minister Bill Morneau $200 for failing to declare a corporation that owns a villa in France.
MacLauchlan’s office wouldn’t comment on the fine — but was happy to talk about the gift.

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Musings From Abroad

China’s Hailiang, Shinzoom to establish vehicle battery installations in Morocco

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Hailiang and Shinzoom, Chinese car battery makers, will establish two separate operations in Morocco as the country strives to adapt its burgeoning automotive sector to rising demand for electric vehicles, Moroccan officials announced on Tuesday.

Tanger Tech, the Moroccan northern industrial zone’s development authority, said Hailiang intends to establish a $450 million copper facility on a 30-hectare plot of land. Shinzoom, a subsidiary of Hunan Zhongke, plans to invest $460 million in an anode plant spanning 20 hectares, according to a statement.

In April, the Moroccan government approved Chinese electric battery company BTR New Material Group (835185.BJE)’s plans to build a factory in Tangier to manufacture crucial component cathodes.

Another Chinese firm, CNGR Advanced Material (300919.SZ), plans to develop a cathode plant in Jorf Lasfar, 100 miles south of Casablanca, where the government has set aside 283 hectares for electric battery sectors.

Last year, the Moroccan government and China’s Gotion agreed to examine establishing an electric vehicle battery plant in the country, with a potential investment of up to $6.3 billion. Last month, Industry Minister Ryad Mezzour told Reuters that the Gotion project was moving forward, with conversations over its footprint and location.

Morocco’s strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar, free trade agreements with important EU and US markets, and existing automotive sector cluster all attract Chinese enterprises.

In 2023, the automotive sector topped Morocco’s industrial exports with $14 billion, a 27% increase. Morocco is home to Stellantis (STLAM.MI) and Renault (RENA.PA) production factories with an annual combined capacity of 700,000 automobiles, as well as a network of local suppliers.

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Musings From Abroad

Prince Harry, Meghan treated to street-style dances in Nigeria as their trip winds down

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On Sunday, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were treated to street-style dances in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, where they announced a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and the non-profit Giants of Africa, which utilizes sports to empower young people.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making their first visit to Nigeria, where they were welcomed by the country’s chief of defence staff. The couple watched basketball practice at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on Lagos Mainland, where Harry participated in ball-bouncing drills and shot a hoop.

“What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing,” he said. “The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community and there are no barriers, which is the most important thing.”

The couple watched basketball practice at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on Lagos Mainland, and Harry stepped on the court for some ball-bouncing drills and to shoot a hoop.

Former Toronto Raptors star Masai Ujiri, president of Giants of Africa, wished Meghan a happy Mother’s Day and said his organization was uniting communities and uplifting young people through sport, especially. Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa will construct a basketball court in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

“Talk about full circle again – never did I think we would be able to be here all those years later supporting the expansion of this incredible organization,” she said.
Harry and Meghan were set to round off their Lagos trip by attending a reception for a local charity. The couple live in the United States with their two children after Harry gave up working as a member of the royal family in 2020.

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