Fact Check: They found a Trudeau Account with Pharmaceutical Commissions

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There is no evidence that Canadian authorities have found a bank account in Belize of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, with 300 million dollars in pharmaceutical commissions for “facilitating” the vaccination against covid-19.

Users on social networks have said at least since July 14 that the prime minister must be imprisoned after the discovery of an account in the Caribbean country with the suspicious money and share a video of protests allegedly against the president’s corruption.

“Trudeau must go to jail, tried, and convicted!” one user cries out in a tweet with nearly 3,000 likes.

The video also reads: “The hatred of Justin Trudeau continues in Canada. Yesterday the 300 thousand that it has in Belize was published and that supposedly were COMMISSIONS of the covid (sic)”.

FACTS: But Canadian authorities have not reported such an investigation and there is no information about it on the Internet. The presidential office denies this and there are no ongoing investigations in the Office of the Ethics Commissioner that is dedicated to resolving whether there are conflicts of interest of public officials.

NO TRACE OF THE ALLEGED ACCOUNT

A Google keyword search like “Justin Trudeau,” “bank accounts,” “Belize,” and “$300 million” yields no results. There is also no information on the main pages of the Canadian authorities.

The presidential office told EFE Verifica that the claims were false, and that in any case public officials in Canada have to disclose financial information of interest to the Office of the Ethics Commissioner, which is public.

The office’s website, which is responsible for preventing and avoiding conflicts of interest of public officials and parliamentarians, makes no reference to an investigation such as that publicized by viral tweets. In its archive history, three reports on Trudeau appear, in 2021, 2019 and 2017.

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INQUIRIES IN THE PAST

The commission exonerated Trudeau in 2021 following a controversial award of a scholarship program to an NGO linked to his family.

Instead, it did accuse him of breaching the Conflicts of Interest law in 2019, for trying to favor one of the country’s largest construction companies, SNC-Lavalin, and in 2017, for accepting a trip from religious leader Aga Khan when the government was considering giving him a grant worth 15 million US dollars.

There are no other reports beyond these three investigations, with which he holds the record of being the only Canadian prime minister to have twice breached the Conflict of Interest Act.

The Canadian Police, for their part, informed EFE Verifica by mail that they usually never confirm or deny whether they are conducting an investigation unless criminal charges are filed.

DEMONSTRATION AGAINST COVID MEASURES, NOT FOR CORRUPTION

In addition, with a reverse search of a frame of the viral video, EFE Verifica found that it actually shows a protest in downtown Ottawa held on Canada Day on July 1 against covid health restrictions, but not because a corruption case involving Trudeau has been discovered.

The demonstrators were part of the “Freedom Convoy”, which in late January blocked the country due to the anger of truck drivers who had to be vaccinated against covid-19, tested or isolated in order to cross the border between the United States and Canada.

Then EFE Verifica also identified other misinformation against the prime minister, such as a manipulated video in which he spoke of applying unconstitutional measures, which in reality was a critical reflection on a constitutional clause unrelated to the coronavirus.

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In Canada, the mask is still mandatory for passengers on planes and trains, although on June 20 the government stopped requiring vaccination of federal employees and on domestic flights.

82% of Canada’s population is vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine.

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