Lockdown Travel 'Bad Look' for Politicians says UWindsor Professor


The number of politicians caught travelling abroad during lockdown continues to pile up.

Many have been stripped of their duties while some have opted to step down including Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips who resigned after returning from a Caribbean vacation to St. Bart's.

University of Windsor political science professor Lydia Miljan says each incident should be treated on a case-by-case basis, but overall it's not good optics as Canadians continue to look to political leaders for answers during the pandemic.

Miljan says this isn't a new problem.

"I haven't celebrated any high holidays with my children who live in the same city as I do because I was told not to. Yet, during the Easter holidays the Prime Minister travelled to Quebec despite the fact that there was a ban on travel between on Ontario and Quebec. So we've seen it throughout," she says.

Miljan told AM800's The Afternoon News that people are getting frustrated.

"If we can't even get a haircut, why is it that somebody can travel across the world to either visit a family member or to go on vacation or to sell a house? It's the fact that politicians are asking all of us to make sacrifices and if they're not willing to make the same sacrifices then their messaging becomes really problematic," she says.

Miljan says politicians need to lead my example.

"Why would we listen to them if they can't even listen to themselves? You never want to have that situation where you have the do as I say, not as I do kind of comment because you sort of have to question why are they asking us to make these sacrifices if they don't even believe that the sacrifices have ay meaning?," she says.

Two members of the federal Liberal caucus recently stepped down from their duties after it was revealed they left the country while the federal New Democrats relieved a Manitoba MP of her cabinet critic positions after she travelled overseas to visit a sick relative.

Ontario went into a province-wide lockdown on December 26 — the lockdown extends to January 9 in northern Ontario and January 23 in southern Ontario.