Quebec Liberal leader says MNA in Barbados will fly home soon, says she's 'not happy'
MONTREAL -- Liberal MNA Pierre Arcand and his wife have been in Barbados -- but now they're looking for the next flight back to Quebec, according to Arcand's party leader.
Liberal leader Dominique Anglade said she tried to dissuade him from taking the trip and has now asked him to pack his bags and head home.
“I’m not happy with this situation at all," she said Wednesday.
Arcand "knows that," she said, "and I think as MNAs we need to set an example, send a message that we understand we have to go beyond what’s asked of citizens in general.”
Arcand says he and his wife were tested before they left Quebec and again after arriving in Barbados. But he's still apologizing for the trip today.
“I now regret this decision, given the current situation in Quebec and the respect we owe to health-care workers.”
He added that he will "scrupulously respect the 14 days of confinement upon [his] return."
Arcand isn't the only local politician who's abroad right now. CAQ MNA Youri Chassin is in Peru visiting his husband.
In a statement, his party said Chassin hadn't seen his husband in over a year and his trip was planned in order to wrap up immigration procedures to bring his husband to Canada.
Arcand's trip came to light after he was spotted in Barbados. According to Radio-Canada, who reported the news first, Arcand was seen in the Glitter Bay area.
Federal and provincial governments have repeatedly asked Quebecers not to travel over the holidays given the state of the pandemic in Canada.
Anglade said Wednesday morning that she should have gone further than trying to talk him out of it, and should have prohibited members of her party from leaving the country.
“We said ‘We don’t believe that he should be going,' but we should have forbidden it," she said.
"We should have gone beyond what was recommended by public health."
Anglade says Arcand is now looking for the next available flight home and when he does get to Quebec she will have a very stern talking-to with him.
Just before Christmas, Premier François Legault participated in a news conference with the three opposition leaders to encourage Quebecers to respect public health guidelines over the break.
Anglade was present and urged Quebecers not to be overwhelmed by restrictions so as not to let "the virus win."
-- With files from The Canadian Press