Senate Conservative Leader Don Plett travelled to Mexico in December for personal reasons, and is now back in Canada, the senator’s spokesperson said.
Karine Leroux said Mr. Plett, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, was in Mexico for four days on personal travel and he is now in Manitoba quarantining for 14 days.
“Senator Plett travelled to Mexico on December 28th, upon arrival he reflected on his decision to travel and immediately made arrangements to return home on December 31st,” said Ms. Leroux in an email.
She said this was Mr. Plett’s sole trip outside of Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began in March, 2020.
Mr. Plett joins a growing list of politicians who are being criticized and some demoted from positions for travelling over the holidays despite federal and provincial advisories urging against all non-essential travel.
The revelations of politicians travelling abroad began last week with Rod Phillips, who was then the finance minister of Ontario. Mr. Phillips said on Dec. 29 he and his wife travelled on what he called a “previously planned personal trip” to St. Barts, a luxury island in the Caribbean. His office also confirmed he travelled to Switzerland in August.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered Mr. Phillips to return to Canada, and accepted his resignation hours after Mr. Phillips arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport, where he told reporters he hoped to stay on and regain the confidence of Ontarians.
During his absence, content posted to Mr. Phillips’s social media suggested he was still in the province, including a prerecorded Christmas Eve video by a roaring fire. Mr. Phillips said it was not his intent to deceive anyone, and said most politicians prerecord social-media content.
On Monday, the office of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also revealed that two of the party’s MPs were in the United States over the holidays. The office said Calgary MP Ron Liepert sought and received permission from the Conservative whip’s office to travel to address an “emergency repair” at a property he owned.
Southern Ontario MP David Sweet also received permission to travel to the U.S. for a property issue. However, the Conservative leader’s office said, Mr. Sweet then stayed longer in the U.S. “for leisure” without informing the whip, and has now resigned as chair of the House of Commons ethics committee.
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