Senior officials revealed the prime minister’s planned absence during a not-for-attribution background briefing, saying Trudeau will leave late Thursday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Phnom Penh.
The ASEAN summit, which is scheduled to start on Saturday, is the first of four international meetings that Trudeau will attend over 10 days. He will also attend the G20 in Indonesia, the APEC meeting in Thailand and a Francophonie summit in Tunisia.
Officials said the prime minister instead met with serving military personnel and veterans in New Brunswick earlier this week, where he also paid his respects to those who fell in service to Canada.
Trudeau was also absent for the national Remembrance Day ceremony in 2018 because he was attending an international gathering of world leaders in France marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Legion, which organizes and runs the national ceremony every year, said the prime minister and other key government representatives are always invited to attend.
“We are disappointed that he will not be present this year,” Nujma Bond said. “We do understand that, on occasion, national matters may arise that prevent him from attending.”