NDP MP Niki Ashton stripped off shadow critic roles because of foreign trip

THE federal NDP announced on Friday that MP Niki Ashton (Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, Manitoba) has been removed from her shadow critic roles after they found out that she had travelled to Greece to see a very ill family member.

The NDp said in a statement: “New Democrats — like people across the country — are doing their best to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their families and their communities during this crisis. 

“Yesterday, it came to our attention that MP Niki Ashton travelled to Greece to see a very ill family member. The Leader and the Whip were not advised beforehand. And while the importance of staying home and doing their best to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their family and their communities was stressed to all MPs, Ms. Ashton deemed it necessary to go see this family member at this time. She reached out to Canadian officials for best practices, and will be following quarantine guidelines. Travellers arriving from Canada are not allowed entry to Greece unless they can prove the essential nature of their travel. Ms. Ashton was allowed entry by Greek officials based on this urgent family situation.

“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. 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. These roles will be reassigned to other caucus members in the next few days and the new critics will continue this important work. 

“New Democrats know Canadians have spent the last few months staying home and not gathering with their family and friends in the hopes of beating this virus. We will continue to support them in those efforts and will continue to fight for people and for better supports to help them stay home and stop the spread of COVID-19.”