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Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says she went maskless at airport only while eating

Last Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 5:45 am EST

FILE -- Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, Thursday, October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said she took off a face mask at Pearson airport in Toronto only to eat or drink, following a Twitter post showing her without a face covering.

The photo of Hajdu without a mask was posted Sunday evening by a self-described aide to Alberta’s advanced-education minister.

It shows Hajdu seated in a chair by herself with a piece of rolling luggage next to her, either speaking or smiling.

RELATED: Andrew Scheer spotted not wearing mask at Pearson Airport

Hajdu replied by saying that following public health rules are important to her and she removes her mask only when those rules allow it, such as to eat or drink.

There’s no food or drink apparent in the image, though there is an open paper bag just visible on Hajdu’s side, away from the camera.

In July, then-Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister were photographed talking in a departure area at Pearson airport without masks, for which Pallister apologized.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020.


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