Senator Don Plett vacationed in Mexico over the holidays despite pandemic advisory on travel

Senate Opposition Leader Don Plett spent part of the Christmas holidays in Mexico, despite government advisories against international travel.

In response to questions from CBC News, Senate spokesperson Karine Leroux confirmed Plett left the country.

“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 trip outside Canada since March 2020.”

Confirmation of Plett’s trip to Mexico came after CBC News began looking into reports that the senator had left the country over the holidays.

On January 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 many 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 later that day.

WATCH: Sen. Don Plett on holiday travel

Manitoba Conservative Don Plett released a holiday greeting online in which he remarks on how Canadians’ celebrations have changed. 1:00

Plett travelled to Mexico after posting a Christmas message to YouTube on Dec. 17 that lamented the pandemic’s effects on holiday travel.

“For many of us, Christmas is a time when we are used to gathering with family and friends, reconnecting and enjoying one another’s company,” said Plett in the recorded greeting.

“But this year, the pandemic has forced us to change some of those traditions, since we cannot travel and gather as we normally 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 would sometimes be seen on the golf course together in Florida,” Plett said. “That won’t happen this year, so we’ll have to wait until next year.”

Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at elizabeththompson@cbc.ca

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