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Rona Ambrose vacations on friend’s yacht during Trudeau vacation scandal

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A spokesperson for Rona Ambrose has confirmed that the interim Conservative leader took a vacation on a billionaire’s yacht but says there are no ethical violations.

According to an iPolitics report, Ambrose and her husband spent nearly two weeks during her winter break on the yacht of Murray Edwards, oil sands financier and co-owner of the Calgary Flames. Edwards is a friend of her partner, J.P. Veitch.

The report states they were in the Leeward Islands chain in the Caribbean.

The news comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in the midst of an ethics investigation into his own vacation, in which he, his family, and some colleagues went to the Aga Khan’s private island.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau’s vacation: ‘Just don’t break the rules,’ journalist panel says 

Unpacking the politics: Trudeau’s holiday travel
Unpacking the politics: Trudeau’s holiday travel

A second investigation is open into how Trudeau got to the island, since there are rules about accepting flights on private aircraft.

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Both investigations were suggested to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner by Conservative MPs.

Ambrose’s director of communications Mike Storeshaw said she paid her own way on a charter flight to her vacation and there should be no ethical concerns.

“Ms. Ambrose has followed all rules that apply to her with respect to her holiday, and was open and transparent with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, unlike the Prime Minister,” he wrote in an email to Global News.

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“Ms. Ambrose discussed her holiday with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, who verified that it was within the rules.”

Storeshaw said while Ambrose was with a number of friends, none of them were public office holders.

On Trudeau’s vacation, MP Seamus O’Regan and Liberal Party of Canada President Anna Gainey and their husbands were also present.

WATCH: Why Justin Trudeau’s trip to the Aga Khan’s island matters

IPolitics reported that she didn’t check the vacation with the ethics commissioner’s office until she was already on vacation, but was told it wouldn’t need to be reported.

Ambrose has been outspoken in her disdain for Trudeau’s vacation, tweeting in January saying Trudeau should have known better but “couldn’t resist the billionaire lifestyle.”  (The tweet was published while she was still on vacation on the yacht.)

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