A Liberal MP has been censured by his party's chief whip for defying advice not to travel out of the country unless the trip is essential.

Chief government whip Steven MacKinnon issued a statement Wednesday saying he is "profoundly disappointed" that Liberal MP Yves Robillard travelled outside Canada, in contravention of party instructions.

The whip says Liberal MPs were told to avoid non-essential international travel as the COVID-19 Omicron variant increases its grip.

The instruction mirrors government advice to members of the public to try to curb the spread of the highly contagious COVID variant.

MacKinnon said although Robillard is fully vaccinated, the MP's trip during Parliament's holiday break was not considered essential, and he will be removed from his duties as member of the standing committee on national defence as a result.

MacKinnon, who did not mention Robillard's destination or reasons for travel, intends to talk to the MP about his decision to leave Canada when Parliament returns.

Robillard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2021.

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