Conservative leader tests positive for COVID-19; Quebec premier self-isolating


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has tested positive for COVID-19 but is “feeling well,” according to the party.

“This evening, Erin O’Toole received a positive test result for COVID-19,” the party said in a statement Friday. 

“He is very relieved that his wife and children have tested negative. O’Toole remains in self-isolation and is feeling well.”

The test result comes as multiple regions in Canada contend with a steady rise in new cases amid the coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed more than 9,000 Canadian lives and infected 141,000 people across the country.

The leader of the Official Opposition has been in isolation since Wednesday after being exposed to the coronavirus by one of his staff members, who tested positive.

O’Toole had been travelling with the staffer in Quebec over the weekend and on Monday. 

Shortly after the announcement, Quebec Premier François Legault, who met one-on-one with O’Toole on Monday, said on Twitter he was self-isolating out of precaution. 

Legault met and dined in Ottawa on Friday with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. The four premiers travelled to the capital to press the federal government for $28 billion in additional federal funding to cover their ballooning health-care costs.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, right, speaks as Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, left, look on during a news conference in Ottawa on Friday. Legault is self-isolating after meeting with O’Toole earlier this week. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

O’Toole denounced the current state of COVID-19 testing in Canada after his family waited for hours at an Ottawa site on Wednesday, only to be turned away because of capacity issues.

O’Toole, his wife and their two children were tested on Thursday at a site in Gatineau, Que., which offers priority testing for MPs and their families.

Earlier this week, the Bloc Québécois announced leader Yves-François Blanchet and his wife Nancy Déziel tested positive for COVID-19. They will remain in isolation at his residence in Shawinigan, Que., until Sept. 26.



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