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Growing list of Canadian politicians caught travelling abroad despite pandemic

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TORONTO —
An increasing checklist of Canadian politicians are in scorching water after being caught vacationing or travelling overseas amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic at house.

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Present federal public health guidance says to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, one thing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and heath authorities have repeatedly reiterated in public briefings.

Here’s a fast rundown of the politicians concerned to date:

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ONTARIO

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned after news emerged that he vacationed in the Caribbean island of St. Barts, though his social media presence made it appear in any other case. His workplace launched tweets and Instagram posts of the minister whereas he was away – making it seem he was in Ontario all alongside.

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When confronted at Toronto’s Pearson Airport Thursday, Phillips known as it a “dumb mistake.”

Public anger was additionally aimed toward Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford – regardless of his public condemnation of Phillips’ choice – because it turned clear Ford knew concerning the trip two weeks in the past.

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“At the moment I ought to have mentioned ‘get your bottom again into Ontario’ and I didn’t do this,” Ford said

ALBERTA

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has declined to self-discipline members of his authorities for travelling overseas because it emerged workers like MLA Pat Rehn travelled to Mexico and Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard was vacationing in Hawaii.

Two schooling ministry press secretaries were also vacationing in Hawaii after photos surfaced of them on a seaside. They’ve since deleted their social media accounts.

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Kenney confirmed that his personal chief of workers, James Huckabay, travelled to the U.Ok. and got here again by way of the USA on Boxing Day. 

Allard’s Instagram account posted a video of her delivering a vacation message in entrance of a Christmas tree on the Alberta Legislature Constructing while she was away from Dec. 19 to Dec. 29 – a transfer she denies was to cover-up her location.

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Rehn’s Facebook photos of him in a Mexican cave wishing folks a merry Christmas had been shared broadly on-line, together with different posts urging Albertans to remain house and save lives.

Kenney mentioned he has since issued a directive orderings workers to not journey overseas. 

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However Kenney’s stance on why he’s not disciplining member of his authorities – insinuating that tips had been “unclear,” is being met with derision.

“This concept that individuals had been unaware of what the journey guidelines had been – it’s not like there’s ambiguity in November or early December, its been the identical algorithm since March,” mentioned political science professor at Mount Royal College Duane Bratt on CTV’s Information Channel Friday.

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“That’s an extended time period. It doesn’t meet the odor take a look at. And the issue is whenever you’ve obtained a authorities preaching private duty, and then you definately see folks in Hawaii…posting footage of themselves, like there wasn’t an issue,” Bratt mentioned. 

“Individuals knew what the foundations had been. Individuals knew what they weren’t presupposed to do.”

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MANITOBA

The NDP mentioned Friday that MP Niki Ashton travelled overseas to go to an ailing member of the family in Greece, which Ashton later confirmed in a tweet.

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NDP management mentioned they weren’t conscious of the journey and that Ashton had not knowledgeable them of her intentions earlier than she left.

The social gathering acknowledged within the launch that whereas they had been “sympathetic” to Ashton’s plight, that she can be faraway from her shadow cupboard critic roles transferring ahead.

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QUEBEC

Liberal MNA Pierre Arcand and his spouse are planning their flight house to Quebec after being spotted in Barbados’ Glitter Bay region. Quebec’s Liberal chief Dominique Anglade mentioned she tried to speak him out of the journey however was unsuccessful. 

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Arcand maintains he and his spouse obtained examined for COVID-19 earlier than they left from Quebec and once more when arriving in Barbados. He now says he “regrets” the choice.

CAQ MNA Youri Chassin was additionally caught internationally visiting his husband in Peru. His social gathering launched a press release mentioned his journey was deliberate in an effort to wrap up immigration procedures for his partner, who he had not seen in a yr. 

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SASKATCHEWAN

Saskatchewan Celebration MLA Joe Hargrave’s journey to Palm Springs, Calif. was made public on Wednesday, which he mentioned was to finalize a sale of private property.

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Calling his journey an “error in judgement,” Hargrave apologized and mentioned he had knowledgeable Premier Scott Moe of his journey plans. His spouse can be on the journey. 

The couple plans to return to Canada after their self-isolation interval in California ends on Jan. 5. 

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