Doug Ford's office denies rumours that he was at his cottage this weekend
Ontario residents have been particularly peeved at Premier Doug Ford in recent days after allegations began swirling across social media that he made a sneaky trip up to his cottage over the weekend.
The rumours began with a passerby video, posted to Facebook on Saturday, that claimed to show Ford family vehicles outside their cabin in Muskoka, in obvious contravention of the stay-at-home order the premier issued to the public just days earlier.
Apparently this video is of @fordnation enjoying the weekend at his cottage, while he has ordered everyone not to travel and stay at home. @TorontoPolice are arresting people at Dundas sq today on Doug’s orders. Has anyone seen @RodPhillips01 ? #onpoli #wearelivingalie https://t.co/7dRtIHvXHL— Randy Hillier (@randyhillier) January 16, 2021
"Here at Doug Ford's cottage in Port Sydney, Ontario up in Muskoka after the stay-at-home order was put in place and [we were] told not to go to your secondary homes or your cottages," the original poster said over fo0otage showing a white SUV that she said was Ford's parked in front of a large vacation home.
"Once again we can see how orders apply to the rest of us but not to the government."
Interesting how @fordnation has the stay home order in place, but we find this past weekend, he was at his cottage. WTF! The rules only apply to us and not the government????#cdnpoli https://t.co/Sp2fjFAZgw— John Akermanis (@AkermanisJohn) January 18, 2021
The video understandably gained a ton of traction on Facebook and Twitter in the wake of the even stricter lockdown measures that went into effect across the province on Jan. 14, including the formal directive for residents to stay home for all but essential trips to get groceries, medication, to attend medical appointments or to exercise outdoors.
It's not the first time Ford has been blasted for heading up north amid pandemic lockdown, either: he had to explain back in the spring why he made the trip from Toronto to Muskoka over the Easter long weekend after he had asked people to hold off on leaving their primary residences, even to go to their other properties.
He claimed at that time that he had driven up simply to check up on his place, and was home within hours.
Did everyone see the video posted yesterday showing @fordnation and family at their Muskoka lakefront Cottage over the weekend?— Gravy Train (@2154827) January 18, 2021
It’s only a lockdown for the peasants. Enjoy your day Ontario.
This time, though, Ford's team has confirmed that the video in question is not of the premier or his cottage, and that its assertions are completely incorrect.
"There is a video circulating around social media falsely alleging the premier is at his cottage," Ford's spokesperson Ivana Yelich tweeted out on Saturday.
"The video in question does not show the premier's vehicle nor his cottage. The premier is and has been in Toronto all weekend."
There is also the fact that Ford very publicly joined Toronto Mayor John Tory to tour the city's new COVID-19 immunization clinic over the weekend.
There is a video circulating around social media falsely alleging the Premier is at his cottage. The video in question does not show the Premier’s vehicle nor his cottage. The Premier is and has been in Toronto all weekend.— Ivana Yelich (@yelich_ivana) January 16, 2021
Rules surrounding traveling to secondary properties, among other guidelines, have been a bit confusing for those who have homes in different parts of the province.
Most recently, he advised citizens that despite the fact that unnecessary travel both within and outside of the province has been contributing to virus spread, it is "fine" for people to hunker down at their secondary properties should they so choose to, as long as they bring food and necessities with them and don't visit businesses in the area.
"If you want to stay in an isolated area at your secondary home and you aren't going to leave it — the rules apply up there — that's fine. Just do your best to hunker down," he said before the winter holidays.
I dont agree with @fordnation on many things, but he has a point. If the rules are the same throughout the province and you bring your groceries, then I dont see an issue with going to one's own cottage.— kevin chapman (@kevinc_262) December 23, 2020
Under the new stay-at-home order, though, people are being advised to forego trips to cottages and other types of secondary residences, unless for essential reasons, like emergency maintenance.
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