The MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Jamie Schmale says he understands why Canadians are frustrated seeing politicians vacationing abroad. 

“Clearly when politicians are making the decisions to shut down businesses and lockdown people during the holidays, it’s pretty ridiculous that they would say the rules are for thee but not me,” he tells Rick Lowes on the 93.5 Moose FM morning show. “That really irks people.”

Since former Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned from his position in Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet, it has been reported more than 20 other politicians and government staff have done the same.

Schmale says people want to get back to normal life and – for the most part – are doing the right thing, so it’s tough to see elected officials not following the protocols they set. “Lots of people are dealing with mental health issues, losing their businesses and their savings,” he adds. “So when politicians do that and say you have to sacrifice but not me, it’s frustrating.”

What’s also frustrating for Schmale is that for a few days this brought the conversation about vaccine roll-out and how the province and country are doing in the fight against the virus to a halt. Schmale says since the beginning he’s been talking about the ability to live safely even with the coronavirus still circulating. “The ability to have rapid tests available, the ability to get those that are infected into self-isolation as quickly as possible.” 

Schmale says he hopes we can return to that conversation especially with the vaccine continuing to roll out in Ontario.