Saskatchewan cabinet minister in California to sell home, premier aware of trip

A Saskatchewan cabinet minister says he’s in California over the holidays to finalize the sale of a home.

Joe Hargrave said in a statement that he’s in Palm Springs to finish up selling personal property and move things back to Saskatchewan.

Read more: Premier Scott Moe says he wouldn’t change a thing about coronavirus response

The Highways Minster and legislature member for Prince Albert Carlton said he made the decision to travel to “address personal business that I deemed necessary.”

His office said he left Saskatchewan on Dec. 22 and his return date depends on the sale of his property being completed.

Hargrave says he told Premier Scott Moe of his travel plans and will self-isolate upon his return to Canada.

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Moe said in a separate statement that he told Hargrave he expects him to follow required public-health advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I expect that all members of cabinet and caucus follow all public health-orders and guidance,” Moe said Wednesday.

Read more: Saskatchewan nurses union calls for public inquiry into Parkside Extendicare COVID-19 outbreak

Politicians travelling abroad over the holidays has become an issue since it was discovered that Ontario’s finance minister is in the Caribbean. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has ordered Rod Phillips to return as soon as possible.

Saskatchewan has advised people against travelling for non-essential purposes, but has no mandatory self-isolation rule outside of the two weeks for international travel.

Public disclosure statements from March show Hargrave is the joint owner of a personal vacation residence and a recreation residence, but they do not specify locations.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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© 2020 The Canadian Press

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