Clinton family to vacation in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, author confirms

Clinton family to vacation in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, author confirms

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hugs her husband, former President Bill Clinton as their daughter Chelsea Clinton looks on during a campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. The Quebec municipality of North Hatley is readying for the arrival of the Clinton family. Several sources report that former U.S. president Bill Clinton, ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, their daughter Chelsea and their two grandchildren will be staying at the Manoir Hovey. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gerry Broome

MONTREAL — Best-selling author Louise Penny says former U.S. president Bill Clinton and his family will be vacationing in the quaint Quebec community of North Hatley as her guests.

Clinton, ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, their daughter Chelsea and their two grandchildren will reportedly stay at the renowned Manoir Hovey, but the hotel has not confirmed it.

“As you might have heard, President and Secretary Clinton, along with family and dear friends, will be visiting Quebec’s Eastern Township in mid-August, as my guests, on a brief private getaway,” Penny said in a statement through her publicist.

“They’ll be exploring the beautiful area, enjoying the sights, and most of all, relaxing. We completely understand your interest, of course, but I hope you will respect their privacy.”

Penny’s relationship with the Clintons is well-documented. When her husband, Michael Whitehead, passed away last September, Hillary Clinton sent a letter of condolence despite being in the final stretch of the U.S. presidential election campaign.

Radio-Canada reported Tuesday the U.S. Secret Service came by last week to inspect the property along the shores of Lake Massawippi in advance of their arrival Sunday.

The Manoir Hovey ranked No. 27 in the “Top 100 Hotels of the World” in 2017 by industry publication Travel + Leisure magazine.

The hotel’s manager has said previously it has played host to high-profile guests and dignitaries.

Danie Beliveau, a spokeswoman for the regional tourism department, said before Penny made it public, they’d been told about the Clintons’ pending arrival, albeit without much detail.

“But with security people doing some inspections, it’s difficult to keep it a secret,” Beliveau said.

She said the visit to North Hatley, a town of 750 about 150 kilometres east of Montreal, can only have a positive impact on tourism in the region.

“Manoir Hovey has a great reputation, it’s a wonderful place, it’s a very high quality accommodation and cuisine,” Beliveau said. “A lot of people might say if they (the Clintons) are going, it would be great for us to visit too.”

The Clintons’ visit to Quebec comes a few months after former president Barack Obama gave a speech in Montreal.

North Hatley town manager Daniel Decary didn’t have any official confirmation the Clintons would be arriving but said he doesn’t believe the celebrity guests would have an impact on the locals.

“During the summer, there are many people in town, so you can’t figure they’re coming here because someone else is in town,” Decary said.

“I think our citizens are pretty proud that their community attracts these types of celebrities. But depending on the kind of holiday these people want, we see them or sometimes not at all.”

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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