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Justin Trudeau Got Called Out For Not Wearing A Mask Aboard A Train

Trudeau may have been all smiles, but many others are not.

Associate Editor, MTL Blog
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking pictures with riders aboard an Okanagan railway train.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking pictures with riders aboard an Okanagan railway train.

Justin Trudeau is being called out for going maskless aboard an Okanagan, B.C steam train during his most recent visit out West despite the current mask mandate set in place. However, the Prime Minister didn't actually break any rules.

In a video tweeted out by the Canadian prime minister, Trudeau can be seen meeting Summerland residents aboard the Kettle Valley Rail steam train sans mask.

"It was all smiles on board the steam train in Summerland today! People came from across the country – and some even came from out of the country – to see all that the Okanagan Valley has to offer, and I can't say I blame them," Trudeau wrote.

Well, sure enough not everyone is "all smiles" about the video.

"I thought trains in Canada had a mask mandate," one Twitter user replied, adding a link to the current federal guidelines that require everyone to wear a mask aboard federally-regulated trains.

The video also sparked a number of angry Redditors who called out the PM for going maskless despite the federal mandate. However, Trudeau did not, in fact, break any laws regarding the mandate.

The Kettle Valley Rail train that Trudeau was on is a tourist train that runs on a historic steam engine and is not a federally-regulated mode of transport; ultimately allowing Trudeau and fellow passengers to be maskless.

While no rules were broken, many online users are calling out the PM, as COVID-19 can presumably spread just as easily on a tourist train as aboard a federally-regulated train, like VIA Rail.

"Gotta love the hypocrisy from the tyrant Trudeau," one Redditor wrote.

"This isn't even a real train, it's a tourist attraction that just toots around a tiny portion of wine country by Penticton," another user wrote in defence of Trudeau.

"Fair... but it's not like COVID is less likely on this vs an actual train?" one Redditor replied.

It was just last month that Transport Canada stated that those who do not wear masks on planes and trains can be removed or possibly face a $5,000 fine — hence the public outcry calling Trudeau out.

Nonetheless, the prime minister wasn't required to wear a mask, however, this leads to some questions regarding the inconsistencies with public health restrictions.

MTL Blog spoke with Dr. Ananya Banerjee, Assistant Professor at McGill's Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health on whether or not the PM is sending the right message.

"The inconsistencies are sending mixed messages to the Canadian population in not mitigating this current wave and spread of a highly transmissible variant putting many vulnerable people quite at risk," Dr. Banerjee said.

With the current seventh wave in full force, it's safe to say that Trudeau's maskless appearance may not have been the best look.

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