LILLEY: Trudeau loosens COVID rules that he and his friends ignore

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Last Friday night, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman took in Game 3 in the Stanley Cup semifinals between the Montreal Canadiens and the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The reason this is notable is that Bettman lives in New York and the game was in Montreal.

Unlike fully-vaccinated Canadians, Bettman didn’t need to stay three days at a government-mandated hotel and then complete the remainder of his 14-day quarantine. Like so many people at the top, he was exempt from the rules imposed on the little people.

Kind of like Justin Trudeau himself.

Our prime minister is currently in self-isolation at home after returning from a trip to Europe, but consider his actions while overseas. Trudeau has been a constant advocate of keeping or even increasing public health restrictions — he’s used his pulpit to chastise premiers for opening too fast — but he doesn’t play by the rules he advocates for.

When he arrived in Cornwall for the G7 meeting, all the official photos were of him greeting other world leaders with an elbow bump while wearing a mask. When the official cameras were off, so was Trudeau’s mask and so were social distancing guidelines — both those used at home and in the U.K.

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Have you seen the photo of Trudeau staring at his finger while talking to Prince Charles, the Queen and Joe Biden talking closely in the foreground?

None of these leaders were following the rules they either set or advocated for, but they expect us peons to do so.

Now we have the Trudeau Liberals announcing that travel restrictions for fully-vaccinated Canadians will be loosened on July 6.

The government announcement actually says July 5, but when you read it closely, it takes effect at 11:59 p.m. E.T. That means, other than the cases of a late flight or two in Calgary or Vancouver, there won’t be any changes until the next day.

Nothing will change for fully-vaccinated travellers returning home with young children. Fully- vaccinated parents won’t be subject to quarantine measures, but their children will be — even if they are too young to get a shot.

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Thankfully, they skip the ghastly hotels and just go home with their parents, but quarantine they must.

The partially vaccinated or those without the shot will continue to be required to spend $2,000 to stay at a government-mandated hotel — the kind Trudeau skipped when returning from Europe — and then spend the rest of their quarantine time at home.

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Trudeau’s team of cabinet ministers making the announcement couldn’t explain why they have rejected the advice of their own expert panel and continue on with the hotels. Back in May, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel told the government to ditch the hotels but bolster other screening measures like testing and ensuring quarantine was followed.

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They’ve ignored that and won’t say why.

In making their announcement, the government also refused to put out metrics for when more measures would be repealed.

With 75% of the population having at least one vaccine shot and 22% having two, we are passed the previous guidelines the prime minister has discussed. You would think they would tell us the next marker we need to hit — like every province has done — but when asked repeatedly, they simply spoke of going slow and doing what is needed.

That doesn’t tell the public much of anything.

  1. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 5, 2021.

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  2. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a news conference in Ottawa May 25, 2021.

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Then again, based on how this government acts, they don’t think much of the general public. The rules that apply to us don’t apply to Trudeau, they don’t apply to Bettman or anyone else in the government’s favour.

The Trudeau Liberals want us to do what we are told and not question while they and their friends carry on getting back to normal.

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