OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau is sporting a new, more serious look to go with his more businesslike approach to being prime minister.
He has returned from more than two weeks vacation in Costa Rica with a salt-and-pepper beard.
Trudeau's new look was revealed in a photo posted Monday on Instagram by his official photographer, Adam Scotti.
Trudeau later tweeted another photo showing him and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan being briefed by military officials on developments in Iraq.
It's not clear whether the beard is here to stay, at least for a while, or just the temporary result of not bothering to shave while on vacation — the Prime Minister's Office offered no immediate comment on the matter.
But for now at least, Trudeau is the first prime minister to sport a full beard since Mackenzie Bowell, who served from 1894 to 1896.
Trudeau has exhibited a fondness for facial hair in the past.
In younger days, including when he was first elected as an MP, he sported a variety of moustaches, goatees and the occasional beard, along with longer, more unruly hair. Critics carped from time to time that he looked like a pirate or a drug lord.
But since being elected Liberal leader in 2013, Trudeau has resolutely stuck to short locks and a clean-shaven face — until now.
His new beard is neatly trimmed and flecked liberally with grey. It seems to match Trudeau's stated intention to take a lower profile, more businesslike approach to his second mandate, keeping the focus on concrete bread-and-butter initiatives and shifting the spotlight to his team of cabinet ministers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2020.
The Canadian Press