judge travel

Ontario judge accused of working while on vacation in the Caribbean

An Ontario judge is the latest in a long line of Canadian officials who are being scrutinized for taking non-essential trips to beachy destinations while the public is being asked to stay home at all costs.

The member of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has been overseeing cases from the province while actually in the Caribbean, according to the CBC, though she was apparently granted permission to do so.

Sources told the national news outlet that her trip was due to some "very specific personal and confidential circumstances," though all Superior Court justices in the province had been formally advised at the beginning of the year to heed public health advice and avoid non-essential travel, as well as presiding over court while abroad.

She currently remains in the Turks and Caicos, having been there since Jan. 9, though following CBC's inquiry she has allegedly been asked to stop working remotely until she returns home.

Former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips was one of the first to lose his job for a trip — he pretended he was still in the country while in St. Barts over the winter holiday— followed by a member of the province's COVID-19 advisory table, a member of our vaccine task force, MLAs, MPPs, and a hospital CEO who travelled to the U.S. five times.

Some have filed lawsuits as a result.

It's been a very contentious issue given the fact that despite border "closures," Canadians have been technically free to travel without hassle for the duration of the pandemic, with measures such as mandatory COVID-19 testing before returning and upon arrival only being implemented recently for international passengers.

Ottawa also suspended all flights to sun destinations earlier this month.

Other groups, such as foreign nationals and refugees, have also been permitted entry to Canada while countries like Australia and New Zealand have been far more prohibitive as far as both who can come into the country and the movement of their own citizens — and have seen success in fighting the virus as a result, along with other measures.

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