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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drinking in two city parks to be allowed by Chilliwack council

Crossing and Vedder Park both designated for pilot project that encourages responsible drinking

RCMP charge Langley man in connection with boat collision on Cultus Lake

A 67-year-old man allegedly operated a motor boat that collided with a woman paddling a canoe

UPDATE: Sts’ailes FSR Fire ‘being held’ at 12 hectares

Status changed from ‘out of control’ on Wednesday afternoon

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Former high-stakes poker player from Mission missing in Nevada

Brad Booth last seen on July 13, told roommate he was going camping

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

Mission’s 7-Eleven defaced with racist graffiti

Racist insults attacking Indo-Canadians ‘shocked’ manager

Most Read