A prominent member of the federal New Democrats has lost her cabinet critic positions after travelling to Greece in spite of widespread travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The party released a statement saying Manitoba member of Parliament Niki Ashton travelled to Greece recently to visit a family member who was seriously ill.

It says Greek officials, who currently only permit visitors to enter the country if they can prove their trip is essential, approved Ashton's visit.

The NDP says Ashton reached out to Canadian officials for "best practices," but did not notify leader Jagmeet Singh or the party whip of her travel plans.

The statement says party members sympathize with Ashton's situation, but notes millions of Canadians adhered to public health guidelines under similarly pressing circumstances.

Ashton did not immediately respond to request for comment on the loss of her critic roles, but she says on Twitter that she is in Greece to visit her sick grandmother.

"Canadians, rightfully, expect their elected representatives to lead b example," the statement reads. "While this is no family vacation, Ms. Ashton will be removed from her shadow critic roles."

The party said the portfolios Ashton oversaw will be reassigned in the coming days.

Ashton is the latest senior politician to face consequences for flouting advice to stay home during a global pandemic.

Rod Phillips resigned from his former role as Ontario finance minister on Thursday after travelling to the Caribbean over the holiday season.

A prominent member of the federal New Democrats has lost her cabinet critic positions after travelling to Greece in spite of widespread travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of #COVID19. #Cdnpoli #NDP #StayHome

Several members of Alberta's United Conservative government, including Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard and Premier Jason Kenney's chief of staff, were also revealed to have travelled in recent weeks.

The trips prompted Kenney to issue a directive forbidding senior government players from travelling outside Canada during the pandemic. He said he ought to have issued such a directive sooner, but said those who took trips before Friday's announcement will not be sanctioned as they did not violate any rules and followed safety guidelines.

Allard later apologized for taking the trip.

In Saskatchewan, Highways Minister Joe Hargrave apologized for travelling with his wife to Palm Springs, Calif., to complete the sale of a home. And in Quebec, Liberal assembly member Pierre Arcand was facing heat for a trip with his wife to Barbados.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 1, 2021.

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Leaders have to lead. One may have sympathy for Ms Ashton, however, far too many Canadians have suffered far more than she without being about to be with loved ones. Being "able" to do something does not mean that one "should" do something. Ms Ashton has much to learn and has demonstrated poor judgment that, if applied in other areas, will result in continuing poor decision making if she is not held responsible now. Good decision by the NDP leadership. Ms Ashton may learn something and be an asset in the future.

"The party released a statement saying Manitoba member of Parliament Niki Ashton travelled to Greece recently to visit a family member who was seriously ill" She went there to care for her grandmother and I expect her to get tested and quarantine on her return. Many people have lost loved ones during this pandemic who have died alone, and families haven't been able to gather to mourn their loss. I am not in her shoes but by not complying with a health advisory she has made a confused situation worse. She owes it to her constituents and her family to fully demonstrate that she hasn't exposed them to risk.