Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //
Videos posted to Instagram but now removed show Dominique Baker, an acting manager at the Public Health Agency of Canada and a travel influencer, taking a trip to Jamaica in November after accepting a free Air Canada Vacations trip. The Globe and Mail

A senior public servant at the Public Health Agency of Canada accepted an all-expenses-paid holiday to Jamaica courtesy of Air Canada Vacations in November, even as her agency has been advising Canadians since March to avoid non-essential travel to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Dominique Baker, the acting manager at PHAC’s Office of Border and Travel Health, flew with a friend to the upscale, all-inclusive Royalton Blue Waters resort in Montego Bay in mid-November.

Ms. Baker, who bills herself as a beauty, fashion and travel influencer on her off-work hours, posted a video a few hours after she arrived in Jamaica, calling the hotel suite with its own infinity pool “mind-blowing – whoa.”

Story continues below advertisement

“One of our two butlers is bringing us our pina coladas right now. No, we are not kidding – we have two butlers,” she says in the video. “Thank you, Air Canada Vacations. We are beside ourselves.”

Air Canada hires influencers to promote vacation travel even as federal guidelines urge people to stay home

PHAC said Ms. Baker’s husband, Ryan, worked on short term assignment from Aug. 31 to Nov. 30 for Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam as a media adviser. He returned to his job as the director of strategic communications at the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Previously, he served as director of infectious disease, risk and emergency communications at Health Canada.

Ms. Baker did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

Ms. Baker released a video statement Thursday on Instagram in which she apologized for travelling to Jamaica.

“While there were comprehensive precautions in place to keep people safe, the timing just wasn’t great and I shouldn’t have gone,” she said. “I acknowledge this and I urge anyone thinking of getting away this year to wait until this pandemic is over. Follow the public health advice and stay at home now.”

She did not explain why she thought it was acceptable for a public servant to take a free Air Canada holiday.

PHAC president Iain Stewart said the Jamaica junket did not involve government business but added that it was unacceptable for Ms. Baker to ignore the advisory on non-essential travel.

Story continues below advertisement

“The Agency’s leadership was alerted to the employee’s whereabouts in November, after photos of her abroad were posted on social media channels for a campaign promoting international vacations,” he said in a statement. “When the situation was brought to PHAC’s attention, the matter was acted upon immediately and a review was initiated. We will not comment further to respect the employee’s privacy.”

Mr. Stewart added that PHAC employees must adhere to the government’s Values and Ethics Code, which “requires them to declare any activity which could give rise to a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest.”

In a Nov. 24 blog on her site, Style Domination, Ms. Baker gushed about the trip and posted pictures of herself on the beach and at poolside, horseback riding and eating at fancy restaurants. Both the video and the blog post have since been removed from the site.

“Our trip was booked with Air Canada Vacations, which included our flights aboard Air Canada Rouge, our stay at the lovely Royalton Blue Waters, a private transfer to and from the hotel in Jamaica, and a free checked bag for each of us,” she wrote.

She explained that people have been curious about whether she needed to quarantine upon arrival in Jamaica or whether she was required to take a COVID-19 test before arrival, but she explained that the Jamaican Travel Authority does not require Canadian residents to provide a negative test result for entry to the country.

“We felt very safe. There is a low Covid rate in Jamaica as well,” she wrote.

Story continues below advertisement

She lauded Air Canada for making it safe to travel outside Canada and praised the airline for keeping “every inch of the plane” clean and sanitized.

“We were heartened to see the flight attendants wearing all sorts of personal protective equipment (PPE): from gloves and masks – to full-on head-to-toe suits that resemble light HAZMAT suits,” she wrote.

“As part of Air Canada Vacations Commitment to Safer Travel, our car was completely sanitized, and our driver was also wearing the necessary PPE. We were then taken to the Royalton Blue Waters, a luxe all-inclusive resort,” she added.

Air Canada’s manager of corporate communications, Peter Fitzpatrick, said the airline did not provide the paid junket to Ms. Baker because of her government connections but because of her activities as a social-media influencer.

“This individual was engaged on the basis of her influencer profile, the demographic of her followers and because of her established track record as an influencer,” he said. “Her influencer profile did not mention her employment with the government.”

He noted that the Jamaica holiday package involved an “exchange for content, including an emphasis on our onboard CleanCare+ program and health and safety measures at the property she visited.”

Story continues below advertisement

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies