trudeau cottage

Canadians are getting mad at leaders for not heeding their own social distancing advice

As residents try their best to listen to the health officials and politicians who continue to reinforce how crucial social distancing is to preventing further spread of COVID-19, many are quick to notice some that leaders haven't been following their own advice.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer have come under fire in recent days for not subjecting themselves to the same coronavirus lockdown rules as the rest of us.

Citizens are calling Scheer out for not safely practicing social distancing after bringing his wife and five children aboard a flight to Ottawa that was meant to accommodate only three MPs.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and cabinet minister Carla Qualtrough were also on the packed plane, making maintaining a two metre distance between all nine individuals impossible.

According to the CBC, passengers were seated just inches from one another on the nine-seater jet, and Scheer's family was added as a last-minute surprise to others on board — which May was not pleased about.

Just days after Scheer's little slip-up, members of the public were up in arms yet again, this time over Trudeau's excursion to his cabin on Harrington Lake, Quebec to spend Easter with his family.

Officials have been vigorously instructing city-dwelling Canadians to avoid heading up to their cottages during the pandemic for risk of overburdening rural grocery stores, healthcare facilities and more.

Police have even set up checkpoints on main routes between Ontario and Quebec to prevent families like the Trudeaus from going back and forth to their vacation properties.

Both incidents have certainly garnered a flurry of response and instigated a lot of discussion, with one camp being somewhat understanding of Scheer's or  Trudeau's actions, and another, much less so.

A few have said both episodes exemplify how the leaders laying out the rules for the public seem to think themselves above the law.

Some Canadians have also noticed other instances where officials have not abided by their own social distancing recommendations: like Doug Ford, who is perhaps too-closely flanked by members of his team during his daily COVID-19 press conferences.

People have made the same criticisms of Trump's White House briefings and other politico gatherings south of the border, which have seen more than a dozen people at a time packed side-by-side onto small stages or into rooms.

There was also the time that a chief health officer in California licked her finger to turn a page during her speech that implored residents to avoid touching their faces.

Through all of this, it's safe to say we're learning that politicians are just regular people, too — people who want to go to their cottages to see their families, want to hop on a plane with their crew without thinking too much about it, and want to be able to absent-mindedly touch their faces without getting crucified for it.

Unfortunately, we've all lost these little freedoms right now, and for good reason.

Lead photo by


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in News

Health Canada approved a COVID-19 testing device that delivers results in 90 minutes

Canadian maple syrup heist drama continues as top court prepares to hear case

Controversial new ads in Vancouver promote small or child-free families

Air Canada is giving free Crave subscriptions to passengers who take a COVID test

This holiday tradition is cancelled for the first time in 21 years due to COVID-19

Over 400 Quebec schools impacted with COVID-19 cases as alert levels rise in parts of the province

Calgary police asking people to come forward after racist bus rant goes viral

Canada ranked most accepting country in the world for migrants