Did Prime Minster Justin Trudeau break his government’s own rules by visiting his family over the Easter long weekend?
He sure did. But remarkably, many Canadians didn’t believe it.
When I posted this message on social media on Monday morning, it caused quite the stir.
Mainstream media journalists and partisan Liberals on Twitter were quick to refute my claim and suggest I was being unfair and I was wrong.
So, let’s set the record straight. What rules did Trudeau break?
Justin Trudeau has been staying alone at Rideau Cottage, a home on the property of 24 Sussex in Ottawa, since March 29th. That is when his wife Sophie tested negative for the coronavirus after previously having the disease and then packed up with the three kids to move to Harrington Lake, Quebec, the official country residence of the Prime Minister.
In order for Trudeau to travel to Quebec to his country residence, to stay with his family, Trudeau broke the following rules:
1. He crossed a provincial boundary and entered Quebec
After telling Canadians not to travel and to stay at home, Trudeau himself packed his bags and headed for his country residence in rural Quebec. He crossed a provincial border in order to do it, despite that border being closed.
Gatineau police set up checkpoints on interprovincial roadways last week in an unprecedented effort to enforce the province’s new ban on non-essential travel into western Quebec.
Sure, it’s only about 35 kilometres between the two residences, but Trudeau had to cross a boundary that was closed to other Canadians. Gatineau police said checkpoints were set up at bridges, ferries and major intersections, and that drivers could be fined up to $6,000 for trying to make “non-essential” trips.
Trudeau and his motorcade were let through, while other families trying to do the same thing were turned away.
2. He went to a cottage.
Trudeau’s top public health official Dr. Theresa Tam has stressed on multiple occasions for Canadians not to travel to their cottage, cabin, camp or rural home, because of the potential strain on health care in rural places.
3. He visited family who doesn’t live with him
Trudeau has admitted that he lives in one household, Rideau Cottage, and his family lives in another, Harrington Lake. According to his government’s rules, they should have celebrated Easter digitally, through Skype or Zoom.
Here are just a handful of the many examples of the Trudeau government and the media telling Canadians that they cannot visit family members living in other households.
This CBC report specifically said, “Physical distancing means: Not interacting with anyone outside your household, including immediate family members and significant others who don’t live with you.”
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo: Unfortunately any religious celebrations this year will have to be “strictly limited to your existing household members only,” says Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer.
Dr. Tam: “That means dinners and celebrations need to be strictly limited to your existing household members only,” Tam said.
4. Trudeau and his family did an outdoor Easter egg hunt, after specifically telling Canadians to do their Easter egg hunts indoors.
5. Trudeau left his house, he went outside, and he enjoyed the great outdoors while telling Canadians to stay inside, not leave their homes and not to go out into public parks this long weekend.
Rules like these are for the little people.
Trudeau likes to say we’re all in this together. But he doesn’t seem willing to follow the same set of rules that he demands we follow.
Perhaps the worst part of all of this is that everyday Canadians are getting ridiculous and exorbitant fines, frankly, for doing far less than what Trudeau did.
And equally as bad, rather than fielding tough questions from the media about his hypocrisy, so many journalists were falling over themselves to defend Trudeau while attacking me, a journalist, for asking the wrong questions.
The media is doing a disservice to all Canadians.