Nova Scotia

N.S. politicians have stayed close to home for the most part

Unlike their counterparts in other provinces, Nova Scotia politicians appear to have followed public health advice and avoided non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Provincial politicians heeded public health travel advice over holidays, unlike some counterparts

Nova Scotia politicians seem to have followed guidance regarding travel during the pandemic. (John Robertson/CBC)

Nova Scotia politicians have avoided the naughty list by following public health guidelines on travel over the holidays.

Politicians in other parts of the country, who were less circumspect about their holiday travel plans, are paying the price for their wanderlust

In the most recent fallout from ill-advised holiday travel, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has accepted the resignations of his minister of municipal affairs, Tracy Allard, and his chief of staff, Jamie Huckabay.

Allard spent the holidays with her family in Hawaii while Huckabay visited the U.K.

Unlike their counterparts in other provinces, Nova Scotia politicians appear to have followed public health advice and avoided non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Kristina Shannon, the press secretary for Stephen McNeil, said neither the premier nor any of his ministers travelled outside the province in the last month.

Several MLAs travelled before December

The Liberal caucus office told CBC News no members of the team, which doesn't include current cabinet members, left the province in the last month. 

A subsequent email from spokesperson Stephen Tobin noted that several current private members left the province prior to December for various reasons. The list does not include current cabinet members.

  • Iain Rankin went to the Bahamas in mid-March on personal travel but returned early. 
  • Ben Jessome went to B.C. in June on personal travel.
  • Rafah DiCostanzo went to Ontario in July on personal (compassionate) travel.
  • Keith Irving went to P.E.I. in July on personal travel.
  • Randy Delorey went to P.E.I. in August on personal travel.

Tobin confirmed in another email that two current cabinet ministers travelled within the Atlantic bubble before it was dismantled in late November.

  • Lloyd Hines, the minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal, travelled to P.E.I and New Brunswick in August.
  • Tony Ince, the minister of communities, culture and heritage, travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador in early November.

Shannon confirmed Kelly Regan travelled to Ontario to visit her parents in September. She isolated for 14 days when she returned to Nova Scotia.

Meredith O'Hara, the communications lead for the NDP, said none of the party's MLAs have left the country since the start of the pandemic and none have been out of the province in the past month. 

PC Leader Tim Houston said there are 'plenty of other jobs' for politicians who are unwilling to set a good example. (CBC)

The communications officer for the PC Party said none of its MLAs have travelled outside the country and all of them have "followed the travel and isolation requirements and recommendations from Public Health throughout the pandemic including during the last month."

PC Leader Tim Houston issued a statement saying that if anyone in the PC caucus left the country during the pandemic for a vacation or to visit family, "they would be immediately removed from our caucus."

"Politicians should set the example, rather than thinking they are the exception to the rule," he said. "If that's too much to ask, there are plenty of other jobs they can do instead."

Hugh MacKay, the Independent MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's, told CBC News he did not leave Nova Scotia in all of 2020. 

Independent MLA Alana Paon said she has not travelled outside of Nova Scotia or Canada in the last month, spending Christmas and New Year's at home in Cape Breton.

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With files from Emma Davie

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