A prominent Canadian politician has been criticized for leaving the country, after admonishing her fellow citizens to “stay home” to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
Niki Ashton, a member of the Canadian Parliament representing a district in Manitoba, in western Canada, Tweeted holiday greetings to her constituents and announced that after spending the Christmas holiday alone with her family, she had traveled to Greece to spend time with her ailing grandmother.
Her party, the New Democratic Party (NDP), which is the opposition party in Canada, issued a harsh statement against Ashton’s decision to travel and removed her from key positions she had held.
“While we are sympathetic to Ms. Ashton’s situation and understand her need to be with her family, millions of Canadians are following public health guidelines, even when it made it impossible for them to visit sick or aging relatives,” read the statement.
“Canadians, rightfully, expect their elected representatives to lead by example. While this is no family vacation, Ms. Ashton will be removed from her shadow critic roles.”
Ashton is a member of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Official Languages as well as the Standing Committee on Official Languages.
The NDP said her roles would be assigned to other caucus members “in the next few days.”
Ashton supporters noted on Twitter that she did not break laws and that both the Canadian government, as well as the Greek government, from whom approval was received prior to her travel, consider “compassionate travel” as essential travel, which includes spending time with ailing loved ones.
Still, many people called Ashton out for hypocrisy, re-sharing her Tweets that encouraged her fellow citizens to “stay home” to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
Back in March, Ashton encouraged her constituents to “stay home” and shared a meme on her Twitter feed that said “It has never been easier to save lives.”