For Canadians, new year and holiday season is a time when we are used to gathering with family and friends, reconnecting and enjoying one another’s company. But in 2020, due to pandemic, public health had advised to avoid any non-essential travel. Not only politicians were preaching to citizens not to meet, arrange parties or visit each other but police were raiding houses of people, arresting and issuing heavy fines. People could not be beside their dying relatives or visit their senior parents in long term care homes due to these restrictions. During this time when government and elected officials forced these strong measures, many MPs, MPPS, MLAs, Senators and ministers traveled abroad for vacations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as if they were exempted from these rules. Some issued pre-recorded new year and season greetings as if it would appear, they were in Canada. Several MPs from all major parties were among those who broke these rules. Conservative MP from Ontario David Sweet, Alberta’s Conservative MP Ron Liepert, Conservative Senator Don Plett, , NDP MP Niki Ashton, Liberal MPs Kamal Khera, Sameer Zuberi, Alexandra Mendès, Quebec Liberal MNA Pierre Arcand , several MLAs in Alberta, Ontario MPP and minister Rod Phillips left the country during the pandemic against the public health rules.
Indeed, Senator Plett’s last question in the Senate before the holiday break was whether there was “one rule” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and “another rule for everyone else,” because of Trudeau’s on-site visit at the Ottawa hospital where COVID-19 vaccines were started, given the restrictions on visitors due to the pandemic.