National Newswatch

Quebec says it will no longer release daily updates on COVID-19 deaths, new cases

Jun 25 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's public health director says the province has reached a turning point in its management of the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore authorities will no longer be releasing daily data related to coronavirus infections. "Over the course of the past few weeks, the different indicators ... that we’ve been following closely regarding the number of cases, number […]

Pandemic erases Quebec’s projected surplus, throws province into $15B deficit

Jun 19 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — QUEBEC — Three months after projecting a surplus of nearly $3 billion, Quebec's finance minister announced Friday that the COVID-19 pandemic will blow through Quebec's financial reserves and leave the province with a $15-billion deficit at the end of the fiscal year. That figure includes a $4-billion contingency fund that Eric Girard said will help the province survive a second wave […]

5 things to know about Quebec watchdog probing N.B. police shootings

Jun 16 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's police watchdog, the Bureau des enquetes independantes, is investigating two recent police shootings of Indigenous people in New Brunswick. On June 4, 26-year-old Chantel Moore was shot by a member of the Edmundston Police Department. Police said the officer was performing a wellness check when he allegedly encountered a woman holding a knife. […]

Quebec to allow indoor gatherings up to 50 people; reduce distancing for kids

Jun 15 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec will allow indoor public gatherings of up to 50 people beginning June 22, and is reducing the physical distancing requirement for children 16 years and under to one metre, the province's director of public health announced Monday. Horacio Arruda said that in some indoor locations where people are sitting and don't need to circulate […]

Former PQ leader Boisclair reports to police after sex assault warrant issued

May 29 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair turned himself in at an east-end Montreal police station Friday after a warrant was issued for his arrest on sexual assault charges. Boisclair, 54, who was PQ leader from 2005 to 2007, emerged from the police station around 11:15 a.m. and declined to speak with reporters. News reports said he arrived […]

Montreal hitting optimistic targets in COVID-19 projections but future uncertain

May 28 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's public health institute on Thursday released fresh projections on the evolution of the novel coronavirus in the province but said it was still too difficult to determine the trajectory of the pandemic across the greater Montreal area — the epicentre of the virus in Canada. Hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID-19 are going down in Montreal, said researcher […]

Quebec ombudswoman to probe high number of COVID-19 seniors deaths

May 26 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec's ombudswoman has launched an investigation into the failings of the province's health care network in responding to the many COVID-19 outbreaks in public and private senior residences. Marie Rinfret announced Tuesday her office will probe why more than 81 per cent of Quebec's deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred either at long-term care homes […]

Quebec cautiously optimistic as COVID-19 trends improve, Montreal retail reopens

May 25 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec reported its sixth consecutive daily decrease in the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 on Monday, as retail stores across the Montreal area reopened following weeks of shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus. Authorities had repeatedly pushed back the reopening day for Montreal-area stores because they worried the province's health-care […]

Trudeau says citizens should wear masks to stave off second COVID-19 wave

May 21 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — A second wave of COVID-19 is likely coming, and if Canadians want to avoid more pandemic-induced lockdowns, they need to do their part by wearing masks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. Pandemics usually produce more than one surge in infections, Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa, so governments need to be ready to rapidly test people, trace their […]

‘We are one people’: Quebec premier says Montrealers should not be isolated

May 11 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Premier Francois Legault is trying to keep his province united as data increasingly indicates the COVID-19 pandemic is under control across Quebec — except for in the greater Montreal area, the epicentre of the disease outbreak in Canada. And as the province gradually reopens following weeks of shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus, […]

COVID-19 pandemic prompts urbanites to rethink ‘grand bargain’ of dense city living

May 10 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — The densely populated slums of Montreal's Griffintown were the subject of a famous 1897 study by businessman and philanthropist Herbert Ames, whose work on the disease-ridden tenements influenced generations of urban planners on how to develop healthy cities. Ames's study, "The City Below the Hill," is just one example, say academics in urban planning, of how the development of cities […]

Quebec launches ‘massive’ testing operation in Montreal but misses target

May 8 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec announced a "massive" testing strategy Friday for Montreal, the epicentre of Canada's COVID-19 pandemic, but authorities admitted they missed their testing targets and don't yet have enough staff to rapidly trace the contacts of positive cases. Montreal has recorded 18,435 cases of COVID-19 and 1,727 deaths, making it by far the hardest-hit part of the […]

Legault says politics not overriding public health in plan to reopen province

Apr 30 2020 — Giuseppe Valiante — MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault sought to reassure Quebecers on Thursday that the province isn't opening up too quickly, while also preparing them to expect a lot more COVID-19-related deaths in the coming days and weeks. Legault's government plans to reopen schools and retail stores ahead of most other provinces, and he told reporters that he […]