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Patty Hajdu responds to Twitter photo, says she only removes mask to eat, drink

Twitter user @thanasipAB posted an image of Health Minister Patty Hajdu on Sunday evening.
Twitter user @thanasipAB posted an image of Health Minister Patty Hajdu on Sunday evening. @thanasipAB/Twitter

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

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.

Read more: Are you cleaning your mask properly? Dos and Don’ts of mask hygiene

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

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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. A spokesperson for the minister’s office said there was food in the bag, which she was having.

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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.