TORONTO – A rising checklist of Canadian politicians are in hassle after being caught on trip or touring overseas amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic of their nation.
Present federal public well being steerage says that each one non-essential journey outdoors of Canada must be averted, one thing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and well being authorities have repeatedly reiterated at public briefings.
Here is a fast rundown of the politicians concerned thus far:
Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned after information broke that he was vacationing on the Caribbean island of St. Barts, though his social media presence made it seem in any other case. His workplace posted tweets and Instagram posts from the minister whereas he was away, giving the impression that he was in Ontario the complete time.
When confronted at Toronto Pearson Airport on Thursday, Phillips referred to as it a “dumb mistake.”
Public anger was additionally directed at Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford, regardless of his public condemnation of Phillips’ resolution, because it grew to become clear that Ford knew concerning the trip two weeks in the past.
“At that time I ought to have mentioned ‘get your ass again to Ontario’ and I did not do this,” Ford mentioned.
Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney has refused to self-discipline members of his authorities for touring overseas because it emerged that employees like MLA Pat Rehn traveled to Mexico and Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard was on trip. in Hawaii.
Two press secretaries from the Ministry of Training had been additionally on trip in Hawaii after pictures of them appeared on a seashore. Since then, they’ve deleted their social media accounts.
Kenney confirmed that his personal chief of employees, James Huckabay, traveled to the UK and returned throughout the US on Boxing Day.
Allard’s Instagram account posted a video of her delivering a Christmas message in entrance of a Christmas tree on the Alberta Legislature Constructing whereas she was away from December 19 to December 29, a transfer she denies was overlaying up her location.
Rehn’s Fb pictures of him in a Mexican cave wishing individuals a Merry Christmas had been broadly shared on-line, together with different posts urging Albertans to remain house and save lives.
Kenney mentioned he has since issued a directive directing employees to not journey overseas.
However Kenney’s stance on why he’s not disciplining a member of his authorities, implying that the rules had been “unclear,” is mocked.
“This concept that folks did not know what the journey guidelines had been; it isn’t like there was ambiguity in November or early December, it has been the identical algorithm since March,” mentioned the political science professor at Mount College. Royal Duane Bratt on the CTV information channel. Friday.
“That may be a lengthy time period. It fails the scent take a look at. And the issue is when you could have a authorities preaching private accountability, and then you definately see individuals in Hawaii … posting pictures of themselves, like there is no such thing as a downside, “Bratt mentioned.
“Individuals knew what the foundations had been. Individuals knew what they weren’t speculated to do. “
The NDP mentioned on Friday that MP Niki Ashton traveled overseas to go to a sick member of the family in Greece, which Ashton later confirmed in a tweet.
NDP leaders mentioned they weren’t conscious of the journey and that Ashton had not knowledgeable them of his intentions earlier than leaving.
The occasion said within the assertion that whereas they “sympathized” with Ashton’s plight, he could be faraway from his important shadow cupboard roles sooner or later.
Liberal Pierre Arcand and his spouse are planning their flight again to Quebec after being noticed within the Glitter Bay area of Barbados. Quebec Liberal chief Dominique Anglade mentioned she tried to dissuade him from the journey, however was unsuccessful.
Arcand maintains that he and his spouse had been examined for COVID-19 earlier than leaving Quebec and once more upon arrival in Barbados. Now he says he “regrets” the choice.
CAQ MNA Youri Chassin was additionally captured internationally visiting her husband in Peru. His occasion launched a press release that mentioned his journey was deliberate to finalize immigration proceedings for his partner, whom he had not seen in a yr.
Saskatchewan MLA Social gathering Joe Hargrave’s journey to Palm Springs, California was made public Wednesday, and he mentioned it was to finalize a sale of private property.
Calling his journey an “error in judgment”, Hargrave apologized and mentioned he had knowledgeable Prime Minister Scott Moe of his journey plans. His spouse can be touring.
The couple plan to return to Canada after their interval of self-isolation in California ends on January 5.