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Trudeau resumes summer political tour in Quebec after Costa Rica holiday

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resumed his summer politicking tour Thursday with a trip to Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula, where he visited a strawberry and rhubarb farm.

Trudeau visited the region as part of the summer meet and greets he began in July in other parts of Canada. He was also scheduled to tour a wind farm and a train-retrofitting plant in New Richmond, Que., later in the day.

The last time the prime minister was in Gaspe came when he was in full pre-campaign mode just one month before he called a federal election. And his visit on Thursday was a couple of weeks away from a Quebec election where the future of French is sure to play a big role.

Read more: Trudeau and family head to Costa Rica for 2-week vacation

On Wednesday, new census data showed Gaspe to be the only region in the province where the share of people claiming French as their first language grew in the last five years.

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Diane Lebouthillier, minister of national revenue and MP for the area, was alongside Trudeau on Thursday and said the rise in French in the region is likely a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More rural parts of Quebec recorded significant interprovincial migration, as Quebecers sought to leave the cities and settle in quieter parts of the province.

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