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

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

Shanna Ramm of Mosaic is the first person to graduate with a Bachelor of Disability Management from Pacific Coast University-Workplace Health Sciences. Her convocation took place virtually on Dec. 1, 2020. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
PROGRESS 2021: Pacific Coast University celebrates with milestones

Alberni institution earns $6M return-to-work grant from province

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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

Most Read