OTTAWA — After four years in development, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new “e-double” robot appeared to perform nearly perfectly during a visit to Nanaimo today.

“Absolutely thrilled,” is how a spokesperson in the Prime Minister’s Office today described their reaction to the e-double’s first public use. “We knew that Nanaimo would be a good test, in case anything went wrong, because residents there are often under the influence of high levels of cannabis.”

The e-double is nearly identical to Trudeau’s real-life appearance. The PMO spokesperson said only a slight difference in the chin-line is currently visible.

One area still not programmed is handling questions, which is why media were not permitted time to ask Trudeau about anything.

While Trudeau’s robot double campaigned in Nanaimo for the upcoming federal by-election, the real Trudeau was in Ottawa still dealing with the fallout over the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

“I’m just amazed by what technology can do these days,” Trudeau said. “Once we get a handful of these, they can deploy me all over the country.”

The e-double cost $725 million to create.

The PMO spokesperson admits there are some design flaws still to be hammered out, notably the robot’s propensity to repeat the same phrases again and again, and occasionally gets stuck simply saying “Sunny Ways. Sunny Ways. Sunny Ways…” and must be rebooted.

The robot Trudeau also runs on only four AA batteries, which expire quickly. Handlers have to replace the batteries every 15 minutes.

The PMO says given the success of the e-double in Nanaimo, they plan to roll several out across the country during the next federal election campaign.