OTTAWA — Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are fighting off criticism that they’re asking Canadians to do more to stop the spread of COVID-19 than they’re willing to do themselves.
Both men were forced Tuesday to defend trips they took with their families that appear 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 in particular have asked people not to go to their cottages as part of that province’s efforts to stop the growth in the number of infections.
Trudeau says his trip was to join his family after not seeing them for three weeks, though he didn’t directly answer a question about appearing to disregard Quebec’s request.
Scheer packed his five kids and spouse onto a government jet to fly with him from their home in Regina to Ottawa in anticipation of the return of Parliament.
Scheer says bringing his family on the plane made more sense than having them fly commercial, and they took precautions to limit their interactions with the other passengers.
He didn’t directly answer a question about why his family’s trip could be considered essential.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2020.
The Canadian Press