Compassionate travel is essential travel



January 11, 2021

Published in Winnipeg Free Press

NDP Member of Parliament Niki Ashton used her holidays to visit her ill grandmother in Greece. She should be commended for this act of compassion – instead, she was stripped of her cabinet critic positions and subjected to public shaming for choosing to travel when non-essential travel is being limited.

Elected leaders travelling to exotic locations for their Christmas holidays during the COVID-19 crisis are rightly being called out for failing to practice what they preach. But it’s unfortunate that there has not been greater discretion by the media, as well as Canadians, when engaging in the public judgment of travelling politicians.

The COVID pandemic has taught us what many already knew – that we have much work to do in the area of elder care in our country. We are clearly struggling to protect and care for our vulnerable elders, and the public shaming of politicians such as Ashton is counterproductive and appalling.


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