Second senator confirms non-essential international travel, six others aren't saying

Senator Vern White, who used to enforce the law as Ottawa's chief of police, took an international family vacation despite the Prime Minister saying the border is restricted to essential travel only. The border restriction is not being enforced.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

OTTAWA — Don Plett is facing calls for his resignation as Conservative leader in the Senate after choosing to travel to Mexico over the holidays.

But Plett is not the only senator who travelled abroad even as Canadians were being told to stay home to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Sen. Vern White, a former Conservative who now sits with the Canadian Senators Group, has admitted to the CBC that he went to Finland to visit his wife's parents. White was a former Ottawa chief of police and named to the senate in 2012 by former Prime Minster Stephen Harper.

And six other senators have not responded to repeated questions from The Canadian Press about whether they've left the country since Dec. 1. The remaining 85 Senators say they have remained in Canada since that time.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly said border travel is restricted except to essential travel, though he has left it up to individuals to comply with his policy and Canadian Border Services Agency officers are taking no enforcement action.

Governor General Julie Payette, meanwhile, says she has not left the country since the pandemic started sweeping across Canada in March; she says she has restricted her movements in Canada to those needed to carry out her constitutional duties and to care for her teenage son and older parents in Montreal.

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