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Prime Minister Trudeau ends Tofino vacation, will visit wildfire evacuation centre

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrapped up his family vacation in Tofino, B.C., on Friday.

The prime minister's plane, a Bombardier Challenger jet operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force, departed Tofino-Long Beach Airport around 2:45 p.m.

Trudeau was expected to fly to Edmonton where he was scheduled to visit a wildfire evacuation centre that has been set up for those fleeing the raging wildfires in the Northwest Territories.

The Edmonton visit, which will be closed to the news media, was added to Trudeau's official itinerary Friday afternoon. He is expected to return to Ottawa following the stopover.

Trudeau arrived in Tofino for the eight-day vacation on Aug. 10.

The prime minister and his wife of 18 years, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, announced two weeks ago that they were separating but still plan to spend time together as a family.

On Thursday, Grégoire Trudeau shared a series of photos of the family trip on her Instagram account, where she espoused the "raw beauty of Tofino."

"Being in contact with Nature’s elements is a natural detoxing process for the mind and body all on its own," she wrote in the caption, noting her first visit to Tofino was nearly two decades ago.

"Just a couple of days spent as a family surfing the waves, biking, hiking, fishing, sunset gazing or bathing in sustainably harvested seaweed," she added. "Back to school and work is around the corner but let’s stretch it out as much as possible!"

Trudeau has visited Tofino several times during his tenure as prime minister, often being photographed surfing or walking the beaches.

However, the prime minister faced backlash from Indigenous groups and political opponents in September 2021 after flying to Tofino for vacation on the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

"Travelling on September 30th was a mistake, and I regret it," Trudeau said following the ill-timed trip.

"The first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation was a time for Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people alike to reflect and connect, think about the past but also focus on the future."

The Prime Minister's Office said it consulted with the ethics commissioner about the trip and that the family would pay for their own stay.

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