Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, left, poses for a photo with his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau Tuesday, May 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eddie Mulholland

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, left, poses for a photo with his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau Tuesday, May 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eddie Mulholland

Marc Garneau’s frequent flying draws attention to discrepancy in quarantine travel rules

A day before Garneau finishes his mandatory 14-quarantine after G7 meeting, he’s set to leave for a ministerial meeting in Iceland

Plans for Canada’s foreign affairs minister to take his second international trip in less than a month have raised questions around what’s allowed for those in quarantine and a discrepancy between what Canadians are told and what regulations actually say.

Marc Garneau’s office says he’s in quarantine after returning from a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in the United Kingdom last week.

His office says he arrived back in Canada on May 6, and stayed for two nights in a federal government-approved hotel in Montreal, as required by Ottawa for those entering the country by air to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

On May 18, one day before he finishes his mandatory 14-quarantine, he’s set to leave for the 12th ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council on May 19-20 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The trip comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Public Health Agency of Canada have spent months telling Canadians to forgo non-essential travel to protect themselves and the country from the novel coronavirus and its more virulent mutations, which are driving a spike in cases and hospitalizations.

Trudeau has characterized Garneau’s second trip as essential, noting that travel required for work is still allowed and the necessary rules will be followed.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh suggested Garneau should not make the trip.

“As leaders, we need to use our position to set a good example and avoid any non-essential travel,” Singh told a news conference Wednesday.

Singh called it “shocking” the Liberals don’t appear to be following their own rules.

Asked about why Garneau, who was vaccinated with a first doseback in March, is allowed to exit his 14-day quarantine one day early, Global Affairs Canada pointed to a federal regulation.

It reads “a person who is in quarantine after entering Canada by aircraft may leave Canada before the expiry of the 14-day period if they remain in quarantine until they depart from Canada.”

However, that rule is different than what the federal government says on its own website around mandatory quarantine and isolation.

It says people may choose to leave the country before the end of their 14-day quarantine but, “You must use a private vehicle to depart Canada. You will not be allowed to board a flight if you are currently under a quarantine order.”

Similarly, the government’s website says those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms wishing to leave the country before the end of their 14-day isolation must do so by private vehicle and not take public transportation.

When questioned on the discrepancy, a Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman referred back to the federal regulations, including one stating someone in isolation may leave Canada at the discretion of a screening officer before their two weeks is up in a “private conveyance.”

“We invite you to refer to order-in-council 50 for information about quarantine and isolation. For further information about quarantine and isolation, please contact the Public Health Agency of Canada,” reads a statement.

Ricky Landry, a spokesman for Garneau, said the minister flew commercially to the United Kingdom, but will be taking one of the Canadian military’s Challenger jets to Iceland. The aircraft are available to cabinet ministers as well as the prime minister.

Trudeau has said he hopes to travel to the G7 leaders meeting in the U.K. in June.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusFederal Governmenttravel

Just Posted

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

(Photo submitted)
PHOTOS: Ponoka Secondary Campus grad

Ponoka Secondary Campus held a drive-in graduation ceremony for their 2021 graduating… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read