Gatherings at Christmas: Justin Trudeau holds back from criticizing Quebec’s plan to loosen restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refrained from criticizing the Quebec government's plan for Christmas, saying instead that he is right to offer hope to the people who hope to have “a little break'' after a difficult year.

Quebec's announcement, which allows for gatherings of up to 10 people from Dec. 24 to 27, came on the eve of worrying projections from the Public Health Agency of Canada on the number of COVID-19 cases.

The province’s relaxations are accompanied by a “moral contract'' asking Quebecers to respect a voluntary confinement of one week before and after this period.

Speaking from his Rideau Cottage residence, Trudeau denied reports that his government was annoyed by the timing of Quebec's announcement, at the same time Ottawa urges Canadians to limit their contact as much as possible.

Trudeau said his Quebec counterpart François Legault, is “doing all he can'' to encourage the population to respect the rules in the coming weeks and months in order to be entitled to a few days to celebrate with family.

Trudeau added that he is confident that Quebecers and all Canadians will take the necessary measures to flatten the curve of cases by then.

Even though the Trudeau family will be celebrating Christmas at their second home in Lac Mousseau, Quebec, there will not be gatherings of 10 people.

Trudeau said his holiday season will include phone calls and video conferences, but will stay in the family bubble to celebrate the end of this 'pretty boring year, thank you.'

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2020.

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters