Nfld. & Labrador

'It's definitely still winter on Fogo Island:' Residents react to Justin Trudeau's Easter visit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador got off to a quiet start this Easter weekend.

There's still plenty for the family of five to see and do, islanders say

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family made a brief stopover at Gander International Airport Friday en route to Fogo Island. (235FireFly/YouTube)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador got off to a quiet start this Easter weekend. 

Trudeau was spotted with wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and the couple's three children while boarding a plane at Gander International Airport on Friday, before reportedly making their way to Fogo off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. 

The Prime Minister's office has remained tight-lipped on the trip, saying only that Trudeau is taking "private appointments" on Saturday and Sunday. 

Locals similarly know little about the visit. One town councillor told CBC News he's surprised by just how under wraps the Trudeau trip has been.  

"All I know is that they were down at the inn. Outside of that, I don't know nothing. Haven't seen nobody, haven't heard tell of anybody who saw anybody," said Lloyd Bixby.

"Pretty low-key, I think." 

While the now-famous Fogo Island Inn doesn't get many visitors this time of year, Bixby said there's still plenty to see and do.

"The inn, with [owner] Zita Cobb's staff, they'll have things arranged for Mr. Trudeau to take part in. It could be anything from hiking to Ski-Dooing — you can still Ski-Doo out here."

Diane Davis recently bought a house on the island. This is the first "winter" weekend she's spent in her new home. 

"Other people think it's spring right now but it's definitely still winter on Fogo Island," Davis told CBC News Sunday.

Davis said there have been very few sightings of the Trudeau family. 

"When you go to the inn, it's pretty protected and discreet up there ... He hasn't made it down to Deep Bay yet. We haven't seen him," she said. 

According to Davis, people in the community have said that the only other prime minister to visit Fogo Island was Trudeau's father.

Then prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously visited the province's south coast in 1971. It's believed that his trip to Fogo took place at another time. 

"All the businesses here are pleased because there's an entourage and I think just about every room in Fogo Island is booked this weekend, and that's a good thing for everybody — lots of people working," said Davis.  

Deputy mayor Wayne Collins said that, with the exception of an increased police presence on the island, it's business as usual this holiday weekend. 

"It's an Easter vacation, a private affair for him and his family and we respect that. We're just delighted to know that he'd choose to come to Fogo Island."

The Fogo Island Inn appeared in a Vogue magazine online feature of the publication's top five destinations for a winter vacation. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

"One of the things I think they would enjoy is to travel around the island," suggested Collins. 

"There's a number of things to see. You can do some hiking, especially with respect to Ski-Doos and ATVs, and there's a number of areas you can travel to and do some ice fishing and things of that nature."

There's been no word on how long the Trudeaus are expected to stay on Fogo Island. 

With files from Kenny Sharpe and Randal Wheeler


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