Scheer calls it 'ridiculous' to be asked about breaking mask rule
OTTAWA -- After he was photographed at the Toronto Pearson Airport violating a mandatory face mask policy, Andrew Scheer said it’s "ridiculous" to be asked about the incident by journalists.
Responding to a reporter’s question in Ottawa on Wednesday, Scheer said "it’s hard to believe this is actually your question and your followup when we’re dealing with a prime minister that is under an investigation for an ethics violation for the third time."
The federal ethics commissioner recently launched an investigation into the prime minister’s role in securing a contract with WE Charity over the delivery of the Liberal’s student grant program. Trudeau and his wife have close family ties to the organization and have spoken at a variety of WE events.
Trudeau was previously investigated for his handing of the SNC-Lavalin affair and for accepting a free trip to a private island owned by the Aga Khan.
Scheer also pointed to the Liberal government’s ballooning deficit, the same day Finance Minister Bill Morneau is presenting a much-anticipated fiscal "snapshot."
"You want to know how long I had my mask off yesterday after making a phone call? Come on, that’s ridiculous," Scheer said on Wednesday.
Scheer’s spokesperson Kelsie Chiasson told CTV News that the Tory leader had been wearing a mask, but removed it briefly.
"Mr. Scheer wore a face mask while travelling to Ottawa today. He removed it to make a phone call. The pictures must have been taken before he put it back on," Chiasson said.
According to the airport's website, the rule has been in place since June 1. While it names four exceptions for the use of a face mask or covering, the use of a phone is not among them.
"I think the picture is pretty self-explanatory, I think my answer was pretty self-explanatory as well," said Scheer. "I think it’s a wasted opportunity today when we’re talking about an economic snapshot today that’s going to tell Canadians how the next few months and years are going to rollout."
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who was also pictured in the photograph not wearing a mask, apologized saying it was an "error" and "won’t happen again."
With files from CTV News' Rachel Gilmore