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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he continues to follow official public health guidelines after being pressed on his decision to spend Easter in Quebec.
Trudeau was questioned about spending the weekend with his wife and children at the Harrington Lake prime ministerial residence.
He was accused by some in the media of hypocrisy for making the trip.
Health officials across the country – as well as the prime minister himself – have repeatedly warned Canadians to stay at home and not indulge in the temptation to visit family, or their cottages, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hello dear friends! Justin, the kids, and I wanted to take a quick moment to send you all our love and best wishes this long weekend. Even though families across the country are having to get a little creative and celebrate a bit differently this year, we’re all in this together. So whether you’re able to be with your loved ones or you’re staying connected from afar, we’re thinking of you and keeping you in our hearts… from our family to yours, happy Easter! 🐰💝 Bon dimanche tout le monde! Justin, les enfants et moi voulons prendre quelques instants pour vous souhaiter nos meilleurs vœux en ce long week-end. Même si on doit tous faire preuve de créativité pour célébrer un peu différemment cette année, on est tous dans le même bateau. Si vous êtes avec vos proches ou si vous gardez le contact à distance, on pense à vous et vous êtes dans nos cœurs. Joyeuses Pâques!
Trudeau confirmed he visited Gatineau Park to see his family, but did not concede that he behaved contrary to his own instructions.
“I announced last week that after three weeks of working here and my family being at Harrington Lake that I would spend Easter with them,” he said.
“And that’s what I did.”
He added: “We continue to follow all the instructions from public health authorities.”
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, meanwhile, is also under attack for making a trip of his own.
He put his five kids and wife onto a government jet to fly with him from their home in Regina to Ottawa in anticipation of the return of Parliament.
Scheer said bringing his family on the plane made more sense than having them fly commercial, and they took precautions to limit their interactions with the other passengers.
He didn’t directly answer a question about why his family’s trip could be considered essential.