Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, and children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien (right) watch election results in Montreal on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Both Prime Minister Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are fighting off criticism they’re asking Canadians to do more to stop the spread of COVID-19 than they’re willing to do themselves.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Do as we say, not as we do? Trudeau, Scheer forced to defend family trips

Scheer flew family to Ottawa, Trudeau joined his for Easter

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer fended off criticism Tuesday that they’re asking Canadians to do more to stop the spread of COVID-19 than they’re willing to do themselves.

Both men defended family trips that appeared to flout the physical distancing measures they’ve spent weeks imploring people to uphold.

Trudeau travelled from Ottawa into Quebec over the weekend to meet up with his family at their official country residence of Harrington Lake.

Non-essential travel in Canada has been restricted for weeks, and Quebec authorities began earlier this month to implement provincial border checks in a bid to stop recreational travellers into the province. They also asked people to stay away from their cottages.

Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and their three children had gone to Harrington Lake in late March, once she recovered from COVID-19 and their isolation period ended. Trudeau stayed behind in Ottawa.

Trudeau dodged questions on how his trip could be considered in keeping with those measures.

“After three weeks of my family living up at Harrington, and me living here, I went to join them for Easter,” he said Tuesday outside his Ottawa residence at Rideau Cottage.

“We continue to follow all the instructions of public health authorities.”

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border restrictions won’t be lifted any time soon, says Trudeau

Scheer travelled with his five kids and spouse onto a government jet from their home in Regina to Ottawa.

The plane had been dispatched to ferry Scheer, the Green party’s Elizabeth May and Liberal cabinet minister Carla Qualtrough back to Ottawa for an extraordinary sitting of Parliament on Saturday to pass the latest iteration of the government’s financial aid package.

But with extra seats available, the decision to have the rest of the Scheer family join made sense, he said.

Parliament is scheduled to resume as a whole on Monday, though whether or not that will actually happen is up for debate.

Still, Scheer said the plan is for his family to be in Ottawa for the balance of the spring session. Otherwise, he’d have to commute back and forth. If they turned down the invite for the government flight, they’d have to transit through multiple airports to reach Ottawa.

“We took disinfectant wipes, we didn’t interact with each other,” he said.

“We kept to ourselves.”

May said she thought it would just be the three politicians onboard, but received a call from the Prime Minister’s Office saying Scheer wanted to bring his wife and children.

May said they told her she could say no, as physical distancing would be impossible.

But May said she couldn’t imagine Jill Scheer having to cart five kids through airports when they couldn’t touch anything.

“I can’t be the person who says no,” she said.

May said she felt pretty safe during the flight and was sitting at the front with Qualtrough while the Scheer family sat together in the back.

— with files from Mia Rabson.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Andrew ScheerCoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Just Posted

Copper Point Golf Course copes with COVID-19 safety measures

General manager says golf is one of few sports where implementing safety measures is fairly simple

Freshwater turtle sightings

Stewardship group wants to know where you’ve seen turtles in the Columbia Valley

Radium author launches book

Radium Hot Springs author Brent Lea launches thriller set in the great outdoors of southeastern B.C.

Helping our community during COVID-19

A high school student’s perspective

The buoys are back in town

Watershed Wanderings column by Lake Windermere Ambassadors

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read