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Canadian politicians who've been forced to isolate because of exposure to COVID-19

Last Updated Sep 16, 2020 at 3:00 pm MDT

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is just the latest on a growing list of Canadian politicians who have been needed to isolate themselves and get tested for COVID-19. Here is a short list:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive for COVID-19 on March 12 after a trip to the United Kingdom. The prime minister subsequently went into a 14-day isolation at home with his three kids, just as the pandemic lockdown was beginning in Canada. Trudeau remained in isolation for almost a month, not returning to Parliament Hill until April 8. He never developed symptoms and never got tested for COVID-19, but says he will take an antibody test when they are widely available.

Bill Morneau — The former federal finance minister was one of at least eight MPs who were tested for COVID-19 and self-isolated after meeting with United Nations World Food Program executive director David Beasley in Ottawa on March 11 and March 12. Beasley met privately with Morneau, attended a reception and appeared at a House of Commons committee. He tested positive for COVID-19 about a week later. Liberal Anita Vandenbeld, NDP Heather McPherson, and Conservatives David Sweet, Mike Lake and Randy Hoback are among those who isolated after coming into contact with Beasley. None tested positive.

Kamal Khera — The Brampton-West Liberal MP was the first Canadian politician to test positive for COVID-19 on March 25. Khera developed flu-like symptoms and was tested the next day. She was one of the MPs who met with Beasley, though her office said it was not clear where she contracted the virus.

Seamus O’Regan — The federal minister of natural resources was tested and self-isolated in early March after developing a bad cold. He had earlier gone to a mining conference in Toronto attended by more than 23,000 people from around the world. At least three people at the conference tested positive for COVID-19, but O’Regan was not among them.

Francois-Philippe Champagne — The foreign affairs minister was tested for COVID-19 in March after falling ill following a trip overseas. He tested negative.

Mary Ng — The international trade minister went into isolation March 11 on the advice of her doctor after a persistent cough, and her asthma, were causing her problems. She tested negative.

Yves-Francois Blanchet — The Bloc Quebecois leader is in isolation now after his spouse and a staff member both tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days. Other Bloc MPs are also in isolation and awaiting test results after possibly being exposed to the virus through the staff member.

Jagmeet Singh — The NDP Leader isolated himself in March out of an abundance of caution when he experienced mild cold symptoms. 

Anthony Housefather — The Montreal Liberal MP put himself into isolation in mid-March after returning from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C. the first three days of March. A Toronto resident who also attended the conference tested positive after returning home.

Sylvie Parent — The mayor of Longueuil, Que., on Montreal’s south shore, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Her positive test has led to the isolation and testing of at least seven other Quebec politicians, including three provincial cabinet ministers and Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2020.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press