Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has tested positive for COVID-19, after he and his family got tested for the virus this week.
According to a statement from his office O’Toole’s wife and children have tested negative, and O’Toole will remain in self-isolation, but is “feeling well.”
O’Toole is the second federal opposition party leader to test positive on Friday. Both he and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet entered self-isolation earlier this week after staffers in their offices tested positive for COVID-19.
The Tory leader and his family were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday, heading across the provincial border to Gatineau, Que. where he accessed testing that the House of Commons makes available for MPs and their families, after being turned away from an at-capacity Ottawa facility.
Other staff members are isolating and being tested, and the party has contacted people that met with O’Toole in recent days. This includes Quebec Premier Francois Legault, who after initially saying he would not isolate, is now doing so. His decision to quarantine and get tested comes after meeting with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in Ottawa on Friday.
This comes just days before the start of the new session of Parliament, which will kick off with a throne speech and lead to what’s shaping up to be a series of key confidence votes in the weeks ahead.
The House of Commons is expected to resume under some form of hybrid in-person and virtual sitting and a way for MPs to vote remotely is currently being tested, which, if launched, will be a pandemic-prompted historic first.