| News

October 27, 2020 – Federal and provincial update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian and Québec governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic is here for the coming months

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the current living conditions during the pandemic are here to stay for a few more months:

Mr. Trudeau agreed that the second wave is hard to cope with. “No one can live with masks and restrictions that get in the way of our daily lives. Nobody wants this situation. But we must all do our part and, together, we’ll get through this,” he said.

The prime minister of Canada explained that the confusion sometimes felt among the population regarding the guidelines is caused by the fact that in the spring, for example, there was only one message: stay home.

“With the second wave, we have a better understanding of the contagion and better tools to deal with it. That’s why the public health guidelines differ from one region to the next. But this complicates communication,” he said.

Québec is containing the second wave

Québec Premier François Legault believes that the sustained efforts of Quebecers since October to curb the second wave are a semi-victory when comparing our situation with the increasing rate of contagion across Europe and elsewhere in the world.

According to Mr. Legault, the fact that the number of people infected with COVID-19 is hovering around 1,000 daily is an indicator that Quebecers’ efforts are preventing a sharp increase of the pandemic here.

“Our healthcare network is under control because we have the population’s support. We’ve managed to stabilize the number of new cases,” he said.

Spending Christmas with the family?

Premier Legault hopes that all of the sacrifices that Quebecers will continue to make over the next month will perhaps allow them to spend Christmas with their families.

However, Mr. Legault doubts that large gatherings with friends and families will be authorized.

Fines planned for gym owners and clienteles

In addition to the owners of the 250 gyms and fitness centres who want to reopen their doors on Thursday despite the government ban to help fight the pandemic, clients could also be fined.

Premier Legault announced that his cabinet members will adopt an order in council tomorrow allowing police forces to issue fines. This measure is being added because some owners have intimated that they would prefer to pay the fines and reopen despite the ban.

Keeping borders closed

Premier Legault asked Prime Minister Trudeau to keep the borders closed until the end of the year to avoid fanning the flames of the pandemic.

Mr. Legault reproached Mr. Trudeau for taking too long to close the borders in March, which allowed many people infected to enter Québec from abroad.

Rapid creation of affordable housing

The prime minister of Canada unveiled a new initiative to rapidly create affordable housing to help over one million people access secure housing. The Canadian government is earmarking $1 billion for this initiative.

The program has two components. Some $500 million will be devoted to municipalities and an additional $500 million will go to the realization of projects by the provinces, cities and non-profit organizations.

Montréal and Québec City will receive $56.8 million and $7.1 million under this program. The projects must be completed within 14 months.