After pleading with Canadians to remain home for Christmas as Covid-19 cases surged, more than a dozen politicians broke their own Covid-19 rules and flew out of the freezing country for holidays in the sun.
The vast majority of their constituents stuck to the rules and stayed home. Air travel was down 90%, according to CNN.
The electorate, after weeks enduring travel bans and weeks-long lockdowns, is now furious with lawmakers for breaking the very health rules they put in place.
People are particularly incensed by the ways some politicians hid their sunshine vacations.
Ontario’s finance minister, Rod Phillips, posted a video message on Christmas Eve thanking his constituents for obeying lockdown rules.
But the heart-warming video of him sitting at home in front of a blazing fire was pre-recorded. It was broadcast as he vacationed on the Caribbean island of St Barts. When his ruse was discovered, he returned, apologised and resigned.
“I know that I disappointed a lot of people. I hope everyone will appreciate I disappointed no one more than myself,” he told media waiting for his arrival at Toronto airport.
He was by no means the only one to head for the sun leaving constituents locked down in the snow.
Alberta government minister, Tracy Allard, confessed to taking a trip with her family to Hawaii for the Christmas holidays because it was a “family tradition”.
She was welcomed home by “Aloha Allard” signs, a petition demanding her resignation and a furious social media backlash.
She apologised and resigned. In a statement, she noted threats had been made against her children.
Such consequences for her and others are an indication of the outrage felt by usually hard-to-rile Canadians, especially exhausted healthcare workers.
“Canadians don’t tend to rapidly become outraged, we’re pretty calm, but I think this has sort of been a bit of a tipping point for us,” said Dr Alan Drummond in an interview with CNN from his medical office in Perth, Ontario.
Drummond has worked straight through the pandemic and has only left home to treat patients. He hasn’t even travelled to see his own children in over 10 months.
He has been stirring up a storm on Twitter and his message is gaining overwhelming support from angry Canadians who stayed home and obeyed the rules.