January 18th, 2021

At least two senators left country amid COVID-19 pandemic, five not saying


By The Canadian Press on January 7, 2021.

Conservative Sen. Don Plett arrives at the Senate, Tuesday October 29, 2013 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Don Plett is facing calls for his resignation as Conservative leader in the Senate after choosing to travel to Mexico over the holidays.

But Plett is not the only senator who travelled abroad even as Canadians were being told to stay home to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Sen. Vern White, a former Conservative who now sits with the Canadian Senators Group, has admitted to the CBC that he went to Finland to visit his wife’s parents.

And five other senators have not responded to repeated questions from The Canadian Press about whether they’ve left the country since Dec. 1.

The vast majority – 86 of the current roster of 93 senators – say they have stayed home, as recommended by public health authorities.

Governor General Julie Payette, meanwhile, says she has not left the country since the pandemic started sweeping across Canada in March; she says she has restricted her movements in Canada to those needed to carry out her constitutional duties and to care for her teenage son and older parents in Montreal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021.

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