The scorching hot summer sun didn’t stop the Clintons from getting out and about in Quebec’s scenic Eastern Townships this week, where the famous political couple are vacationing once again.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton and ex-secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton are back in the picturesque village of North Hatley, garnering excited attention from local business owners and residents.
The pair were seen Friday alongside their friend and renowned Quebec author Louise Penny, taking in the sun on a small white boat on the waters of Lake Massawippi. They were flanked by a heavy security presence.
The Clintons are good with friends with the best-selling writer and Hillary has recently teamed up with Penny to write a political thriller.
Jack Wilmer, an American whose family has owned property in North Hatley for a century, was thrilled the couple enjoyed a peaceful ride on his own lake.
“I am delighted that he and Mrs. Clinton come here,” said Wilmer. “I hope they continue to come here. It’s a delightful village.”
The Clintons’ presence in the Eastern Townships is the talk of the town. A now-deleted photo of the two shopping with Penny at a local store was posted by the neighbouring town of Sutton during the week.
They have also been spotted at the luxury resort of Hovey Manor, which is where the Clintons stayed in 2017 with their daughter Chelsea and their grandchildren.
“I was going by the Hovey and there was a bunch of Secret Service boats with machine guns and assault rifles strapped to their necks,” said resident Will Lynam. “They were asking you to leave the area around the Hovey.”
They are reportedly celebrating the ex-president’s 75th birthday there this weekend alongside former prime minister Jean Chrétien.
Julia Webster’s sister works at the Hovey and she served them breakfast this week, describing them as friendly.
“She said they were really nice,” Webster said, adding that she also caught a glimpse of them in North Hatley but couldn’t get close to the pair.
The trip has also instilled a sense of pride for some in the village, which is home to fewer than 1,000 people.
“The Clintons can go anywhere in the world,” said Guy Campbell, who owns the Imporium. “To choose North Hatley a second time shows North Hatley is a beautiful tourist area.”
—With files from The Canadian Press