Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:26 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Another good local Covid summary from Aaron Derfel, who also points to a Gazette story about an outbreak at Bordeaux Jail.

    • Kate 19:36 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

      The closure of the Mount Royal tunnel has been put off at least twice, but it’s now scheduled to close on May 11 as work resumes on the REM.

      • Kate 18:49 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Fella announces on Twitter that the AN-225 will be landing Thursday at 20:45 at Mirabel. He links to another Twitter feed with video of the takeoff from Tianjin.

      • Kate 17:28 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Public security minister Geneviève Guilbault suggested that Quebecers should be docile in her part of Wednesday’s briefing, acting as vice-premier in François Legault’s absence. She’s had to back-pedal and apologize for her choice of word.

        • Myles 18:07 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          It’s kind of fun when they accidentally reveal their paternalist condescension in public.

      • Kate 10:27 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Tax havens have undermined social justice worldwide for decades, so I’m pleased to see that the federal government plans to withhold financial aid from corporations that use them.

        • qatzelok 12:04 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          The article provides no list of companies that use tax havens, and I hope this list is made public soon. Otherwise, it’s just empty words from our PM and a feel-good article from commercial media.

      • Kate 09:25 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Despite a lockdown lasting weeks, COVID-19 continues to spread and the health authorities don’t know why. There are outbreaks that haven’t been controlled, and Montreal North is, as Le Devoir puts it, a red zone, along with St-Michel and RDP.

        La Presse summarizes the reopening rules and the risks involved in reopening industry.

        As Jonathan Montpetit says in his analysis of Legault’s decision to reopen schools and businesses, “there is an element of cognitive dissonance for the public to hear the premier say things are under control when every day somewhere between 50 and 100 people die of a disease that is running rampant in government-regulated facilities.”

        I’m adding here Michel C. Auger’s analysis: Translating, “A reopening could no doubt be justified if the Quebec dossier put it in the top class in the fight against COVID-19. But this is not the case: with 23% of the population, Quebec has more than half of the COVID-19 cases in Canada and more than half of the deaths.”

        • Daniel 10:05 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          In general, Legault’s handling of this all has been admirable. But this just feels like we’re opening things back up according to some alternate timeline in which things went well, testing was readily available and widely in use, and the virus was well understood and beaten back. I wish those things were true, but they’re not exactly.

        • DeWolf 12:19 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          Legault has talked about “two worlds” but there’s more than that. In Montreal, there’s the horror show at the CHSLDs and the relatively flat growth in the rest of the city. And in Quebec generally, there’s a big difference between Greater Montreal and more outlying regions. Places like Bas-Saint-Laurent and even Quebec City have low case numbers and little new growth. It’s hard to see why de-confinement isn’t the best option for them. I haven’t seen any announcements about inter-regional travel so I can only imagine it is still discouraged and police will still be maintaining road blocks or doing spot checks.

          People reacted to the news as if everything was being thrown open tomorrow but there’s plenty of time for things to evolve. At the moment there’s only a one-week lag in the plan to open up retail businesses Montreal, but there’s nothing stopping the government from pushing it beyond May 11 if things don’t improve in the next two weeks. And there’s another week beyond that for primary schools – that’s three whole weeks of change. Think of how different the landscape was three weeks ago. If things don’t go well—if Quebec can’t ramp up its testing or if case growth continues to be alarming—there’s no reason it can’t be pushed back even further.

        • JaneyB 13:23 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          I’m with Arruda and Legault on this. The ‘opening’ will be geographically appropriate, gradual, carefully watched, with distancing measures, expanded testing, and importantly, retracted if the numbers warrant it. It is also important that an ‘opening’ is begun now because waiting until the fall season risks opening at the same time as flu season begins. At least now, ERs can manage a temporary surge better. Waiting until zero cases is impossible; there will continue to be cases and deaths for the next several years. It is even (god forbid!) possible that a vaccine may only be slightly effective for this kind of virus.

          I notice Legault is being targeted as irresponsible for this plan. I’m no Caquiste so I’m happy to fault him as necessary but in this case, Legault is taking his numbers from the politically neutral public health system, including Arruda and all the experts behind him.

        • Ian 08:07 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          The Institut national de santé publique du Québec is publicly speaking out against the “herd immunity” theory. Legault has been fooling us with his smooth paternalistic vibe but let’s not forget, he’s a money guy at heart and the economy is way more important to him than Montreal’s infection rates. Let’s face it, the CAQ hates Montreal anyway, they probably see our death rate as collateral damage.

          But really, Montreal primary schools reopening on the 19th? This is not appropriate, gradual, careful etc…
          The Institut national de santé publique du Québec says “Une stratégie où on laisserait les jeunes s’infecter risque d’entraîner une forte augmentation de la maladie chez les adultes et de besoins en services hospitaliers et en soins intensifs sans atteindre la cible d’immunité de groupe recherchée.”

          Beyond the utter joke of sending Montreal kids back to school on the 19th as anyhting approaching appropriate, gradual, or careful, Roberge is proposing classes of no more than 15 in primary schools, and using empty high schools to accommodate overflow. They have given the schools 2 weeks to figure this out. Note that earlier this year the CAQ eliminated school boards, who would have been the institution actually capable of carrying out this ludicrous “plan” if anyone was. 2 weeks!

          …and now, on top of it all, I see a headline in La Presse today: “Une maladie inflammatoire grave touchant des enfants fait son apparition” A serious cardiac inflammation that affects children specifically, related to COVID-19 but nobody knows what it is… but yes, Papa Legault says it’s ok to send kids back to school, ça va bien aller.


          I call bullshit on this “plan”, I’m keeping my kids home.

      • Kate 09:18 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

        The Journal says the city will distribute masks but not how or where.

        Mayor Plante has been hinting she has plans to make summer fun despite the loss of festivals. To be honest, I think to many Montrealers the festivals are mostly tourist bait, and since there won’t be tourism this summer the city will save money on the intensive policing and cleaning up of the Quartier des spectacles, downtown and the islands that must have to be done normally.

        One of Plante’s intentions is to open community gardens with certain safeguards in place. Since most planting isn’t done till May, the season should be pretty much as usual for gardeners.

        For myself, I’ll miss the street fairs, which I always used to enjoy, but which I doubt can take place this year.

        • Spi 10:54 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          Given how those 50 000 masks are intended for the neediest and vulnerable it’s understandable that it wasn’t communicated where and through which organization they’d be distributed. The last thing we need is people lining up for free masks.

        • Chris 17:19 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

          Elated to see they reversed course on the community gardens! Ontario declared them an essential service a couple of weeks ago, the difference was striking.

          Stopping people from growing food while there are queues outside food stores seemed really odd to me.

        • PO 10:21 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          I’m going to have to disagree with you, Kate, on the point about the city saving money. Based only on my own assumptions (and I’m happy to be proven wrong) any clean-up/security/spending costs will probably be negligible in comparison to the amount of revenue that will be lost from not having big tourism in town this summer.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we re-open anything for the just for the sake of the economy. This all certainly has to be done to protect peoples’ health and to respect the capacity of the healthcare system. But any massive hit to summer tourism dollars will have net negative effects on the economics of the city, directly and indirectly.

        • Kate 20:04 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          PO, sadly, you’re probably right. I was just trying to see an upside.

      • Kate 09:05 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Some grade schools in Montreal were overcrowded before the pandemic began, so parents fear the consequences of sending kids back to a place where it would be impossible to practice social distancing.

        • Ian 09:00 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          If only we had some kind of system of local organizations that could organize efforts between a bunch of schools made up of expert administrators familiar with the resources available to the schools collectively. Maybe they could form some kind of committee, a kind of school “board”, if you will.

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