Brampton MP latest to face fallout after travelling outside of Canada
Brampton-West MP Kamal Khera is stepping down from her position as parliamentary secretary, after she travelled to the U.S. to attend a memorial service for a relative.
She returned to Canada on December 31.
She released a statement, which was posted online today. In it, she mentions the loss of her father in September, then her uncle only a few weeks later. There's no indication their deaths were due to COVID-19.
In the statement, she notes that she travelled to Seattle, WA, on December 23 to attend a small memorial - of fewer than 10 people - in honour of her uncle, who's funeral service she couldn't attend.
“Although the purpose of my travel is deemed essential under the circumstances, I have decided to step aside from my duties as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development in an effort to ensure my choices do not distract from the important work of our government to continue battling the pandemic,” Khera noted in her statement.
Khera, who is a registered nurse, also made reference to her volunteer duties at a long-term care home hard-hit by the pandemic, “My decision to run as a member of parliament was ultimately born from my desire to serve my community. I am therefore choosing to focus my efforts on the most pressing concern in our fight against COVID-19; to ensure we are able to vaccinate as many people as possible, as fast as possible.”
Back in March, the Liberal MP became the first federal politician to test positive for COVID-19.
She says she will continue in her role as a Member of Parliament, but also hopes to provide assistance with the vaccine rollout, whenever possible, in light of the ongoing shortage of nurses during the pandemic.
This is just the latest fallout for Canadian politicians - both provincially and federally - who've travelled abroad, despite public health advice to avoid travel outside of Canada, during the pandemic.
With files from CTV News Toronto