Senate Opposition Leader Don Plett spent a part of the Christmas holidays in Mexico, regardless of authorities advisories towards worldwide journey.
In response to questions from CBC News, Senate spokesperson Karine Leroux confirmed Plett left the nation.
“Senator Plett is currently in Manitoba following the 14 days quarantine guidelines after having travelled briefly to Mexico on personal travel,” the Senate spokesperson confirmed.
“Senator Plett travelled to Mexico on December 28th, upon arrival he reflected on his decision to travel and immediately made arrangements to return home on December 31st.
“This was his sole journey outdoors Canada since March 2020.”
Confirmation of the Conservative senator’s trip to Mexico came after CBC News began looking into reports that Plett had left the country over the holidays.
Plett 1 of several politicians who travelled abroad
An American couple said they spotted Plett by a swimming pool at the luxurious Marriott Puerto Vallarta Hotel and Resort. The couple said they heard him having “a really loud” phone conversation in which he talked about Canadian politics and the Senate and told the person on the phone that he was the leader of the opposition party.
On Jan. 1, CBC News in Manitoba called the hotel and was told there had been a guest by that name who had checked out.
Plett is one of several Canadian politicians who left the country over the Christmas holidays in the face of government advisories against travel abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Dec. 29, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips found himself in the hot seat after it was revealed he was on vacation in the Caribbean island of St. Barts. Phillips returned to Canada on Dec. 31 and resigned his cabinet post later that day.
WATCH: Sen. Don Plett on holiday travel
Plett travelled to Mexico after posting a Christmas message to YouTube on Dec. 17 in which he lamented the pandemic’s effects on holiday travel.
“For many people, Christmas is a time after we are used to gathering with household and pals, reconnecting and having fun with each other’s firm,” said Plett in the recorded greeting.
“But this yr, the pandemic has pressured us to vary a few of these traditions, since we can not journey and collect as we usually would.”
Plett also referred to travel restrictions in a speech he delivered in the Senate just before the holidays.
“To Sen. (Jane) Cordy, in January we might typically be seen on the golf course collectively in Florida,” Plett said. “That will not occur this yr, so we’ll have to attend till subsequent yr.”
On Monday, Conservative MP David Sweet announced he was stepping down as chairman of the House of Commons ethics committee and would not run in the next election. The announcement came after news that Sweet had travelled to the U.S. to deal with a property issue but then remained on vacation.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s office said O’Toole had advised members of his caucus before the holidays to refrain from international travel. It referred all questions about Plett’s travel to the Senate whip’s office.
Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at [email protected]