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

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Most Read