Aurora politicians stay grounded in Canada during pandemic
Yorkregion.com asked mayor, councillors, MPs and MPPs if they had travelled outside country
Jan. 21, 2021
On Jan. 8, mayors representing small urban communities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, including Aurora, urged the federal government to clamp down on foreign travel during the pandemic to stop the spread of the virus.
Yorkregion.com decided to ask Aurora politicians whether they have travelled outside Canada since York Region was moved into the grey lockdown level on Dec. 14.
The provincial government has since issued a stay-at-home order that came into effect Jan. 14.
While several politicians and officials from other communities have travelled outside the country, including former Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips, who resigned from cabinet after his trip to St. Bart’s came to light, Aurora’s mayor, councillors, MPs and MPPs report staying in Canada since at least Dec. 14.
Coun. Wendy Gaertner could not be reached for comment.
Mayor Tom Mrakas said he hasn’t travelled outside Canada “since the pandemic started in March.”
“Myself and my family have not travelled outside Canada since the lockdown. In fact, we have not travelled outside the province," Deputy Mayor Harold Kim said.
“I have not left the GTA in two years,” Coun. John. Gallo said.
“I have not travelled out of Aurora,” Coun. Rachel Gilliland said.
“No, I haven’t travelled outside the country or even the province,” Coun. Michael Thompson said.
“I have not travelled at all. I’ve been home. I live with my 94-year-old mother-in law and we have been very diligent in following heath and provincial orders,” Coun. Sandra Humfryes said.
A spokesperson for Newmarket-Aurora MPP Christine Elliott, also Ontario’s health minister, said she has not travelled outside Canada.
“Regarding your question, please note that Minister Elliott has not travelled outside of the country. She has been working tirelessly to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians,” she said.
“MPP Parsa has not travelled outside of the province and has been busy serving our constituents,” a spokesperson for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MPP Michael Parsa said.
Newmarket-Aurora MP Tony Van Bynen said he has been vigilant in following all health guidelines during the pandemic.
“I have not travelled outside of Canada or the province of Ontario during the pandemic,” he said.
“My only travel in 2020 was within the province of Ontario. I made several trips to Ottawa for parliamentary duties and I have made two visits to my family cottage located in Tobermory - to open and close for the season. Also, once to visit my 97-year-old mother-in-law in London, Ontario - all trips within health guidelines.““MP Alleslev has not travelled out of the country,” a spokesperson for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leona Alleslev said.