As the province continues its lockdown, cottage countries are pleading with residents to stay home. However, the premier of Ontario has mentioned that going for a short visit to check on your second home is still acceptable. Now, the Office of the Premier of Ontario is admitting that Premier Doug Ford went to go visit his cottage on the easter weekend, to do just that.
In an email sent to Narcity from the Office of the Premier of Ontario, it was revealed that Ford drove up to his family property on Easter Sunday.
However, the statement also mentions that it wasn't for a relaxation trip. Instead, Ford went alone to check on the plumbing.
It is also being stressed that the leader of Ontario did not interact with anyone during his journey.
"On the morning of Easter Sunday, the Premier drove alone to his family property up north to check on the plumbing as the property is under construction and has been over the past two years," his office told Narcity.
"He spent less than an hour there, and, on his travel, he didn't stop anywhere, and he didn't interact with anyone," they added.
Ford, who initially assured Ontarians they would be allowed to celebrate the long weekend at the cottage, cautioned residents on Thursday to only travel for essential reasons.
"Cottage country residents are known for their hospitality, and normally they would be welcoming tourists with open arms right now. This year, however, they are asking visitors to help them fight the spread of COVID-19 and hold-off travelling to these regions until it is safe to do so," Ford said in an emailed statement.
Ford later updated his stance on the issue by telling Ontarians they could visit their cottages for the holiday to check on their properties.
However, all Ontarians should be holding off on hosting a "party weekend."
The Ontario leader even cited plumbing while listing acceptable reasons for residents to visit their cottages over the Victoria Day weekend.
"When you go up north, if you want to check on your plumbing at your cottage or your heat, see what's going on there," Ford said.
The move comes as Ontario has started to slowly reopen the province.
Earlier this week, Ford announced that retail businesses would be able to open for curbside pickup next week.