Government COVID-19 Rules Do Not Appear To Apply To Andrew Scheer And Justin Trudeau


OTTAWA – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer brought his wife Jill and five children to Ottawa on a small government plane with two other MPs at a time when health officials are encouraging people to stay socially distant.

The government has sent planes to pick up MPs in western Canada to allow them to go to the House of Commons in person for the emergency votes that have taken place since the Commons ceased to be a member of the half-March.

As the CBC first reported, the flight on the nine-seat Challenger jet took over from Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough in British Columbia before taking off Scheer in Regina with his wife and children.

Public health officials across Canada have encouraged everyone to stay at home because of the crisis and to avoid unnecessary travel and to stay two meters away from others.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also traveled over the weekend to visit Harrington Lake, about 15 miles from his home, Rideau Cottage, in Ottawa.

Trudeau’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau posted a photo of the Prime Minister and his three children at the cottage on Sunday.

Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, discouraged people from going to their cottages.

“City dwellers should avoid going to rural properties because these places have less capacity to handle COVID-19,” she said in early April.

Meanwhile, May confirmed that each seat on the Challenger aircraft was full once Scheer’s family was on board, but said everyone was doing their best to limit the potential spread.

“I was wearing my mask. I kept the best distance I could keep under the circumstances, “she said.

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer speaks in the House of Commons on April 11, 2020 while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens.

Blair Gable / Reuters

May said she was extremely grateful to be offered a seat on the flight because otherwise, even after driving to Vancouver, she would have had to embark on several commercial flights.

“There were still going to be three airports going through Vancouver, going through Toronto to get to Ottawa.”

She said the government offered her the flight and initially said it would be she, Qualtrough and Scheer on board. May then said that she had the opportunity to object when Scheer asked to take her family, but she understood where they came from.

May said the deciding factor was that if Ms. Scheer and the children were not allowed on board, they should have been to Ottawa on commercial flights.

“It is a personal family decision. I’m not going to put myself in their place, ”she said.

Scheer’s spokesperson Denise Siele said the trip made more sense than the other options available.

“This one-way trip has resulted in fewer trips than Mr. Scheer has done in both directions each time the House is seated, or with the whole family on commercial flights across multiple airports,” she said in a statement. E-mail.

I kept the best distance possible under the circumstances

She said the Scheer family would now stay in Ottawa.

“After spending several weeks in Regina during the March vacation, Mr. Scheer and his family will be based in Ottawa for the rest of the spring session.”

Leader of the Government spokesman Simon Ross said the government had sent several flights to bring members of Parliament and senators to Ottawa for emergency sessions.

“In these exceptional circumstances caused by a pandemic, when possible, the government has sought to respond to requests for government aircraft from members of Parliament and senators.”

May said she got home on the government plane on Saturday after the house was lifted, with only her and Qualtrough on board.

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