The NDP will remove an MP from her shadow critic roles after she revealed that she travelled to Greece to see an ill relative amid calls by officials for Canadians to stay home during the pandemic.
In a tweet on Friday evening, Niki Ashton, member of Parliament for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski in Manitoba, said she spent the holidays at home before travelling to Greece to be with her “ailing grandmother.”
Wishing everyone a better year ahead. Bonne année à tous. <br><br>After spending Christmas alone with our family at home in MB, now I am with my ailing grandmother, my γιαγιά, in Greece. Χρόνια Πολλά με υγεία.
Attempts by CBC News to reach Ashton for comment were not immediately successful.
The NDP released a statement about an hour after her tweet, saying NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was not informed beforehand about her travel and that Ashton will be removed from her shadow critic roles.
“While we are sympathetic to Ms. Ashton’s situation and understand her need to be with her family, millions of Canadians are following public health guidelines, even when it made it impossible for them to visit sick or aging relatives,” the statement read.
“Canadians, rightfully, expect their elected representatives to lead by example.”
Ashton’s decision to fly to Greece comes as the federal government is advising against non-essential international travel to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The NDP statement said that Ashton “was allowed entry by Greek officials based on this urgent family situation.”
Although Manitobans who leave the province may have to self-isolate on their return, travel isn’t strictly prohibited under the province’s health orders.
Several politicians in the past few days have been criticized for travelling over the holidays.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ordered Friday that MLAs should not leave the country unless it’s for government business after news of Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard’s Hawaii vacation was revealed.
In Ontario, the province’s finance minister, Rod Phillips, resigned on Thursday after he returned from a vacation in St. Barts during the holidays.