Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister were spotted Tuesday in a Toronto airport lounge not wearing mandatory masks to curb COVID-19.
Two separate photos of the bare-faced leaders sitting comfortably in a waiting area circulated online.
Scheer’s office said he was wearing a mask for his trip. A spokesperson said the photos must have been taken after he doffed the covering to take a call but before he put it back on.
Pallister was contrite.
“I lifted my mask to join some friends in conversation at the Toronto airport this afternoon,” he said in a statement.
“It was an error on my part, it won’t happen again.”
@AndrewScheer @BrianPallister What are your thoughts on wearing masks indoors during a pandemic? What about wearing masks in cities where it is legally mandated? WHAT ABOUT in AIRPORTS?! What's wrong with you? @CBCOttawa pic.twitter.com/gKhqSMvKS3
— Canadian Dollaz (@canadiandollaz) July 7, 2020
Toronto’s Pearson airport currently has a policy that masks must be worn at all times to curb the spread of COVID-19, with limited exceptions that include being at a food or beverage service location.
The photos shows Scheer in the lounge with several others, and while they are seated spaced apart, none is wearing a mask.
In April, Scheer was criticized for bringing his family on a government flight back to Ottawa for a House of Commons sitting, reducing the ability for the other two MPs on board to keep a distance from the Scheers.
He and other party leaders have been wearing masks around Parliament Hill. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also wears them during photo ops.
Scheer is the waning days of his leadership. The ballots to select his replacement go in the mail in the coming days and a new leader will be elected in late August.