Quebec delays until May 18 reopening of businesses in hard-hit Montreal

James Marshall
May 5, 2020

Roberge was reacting on Sunday May 3 to a statement issued on May 1 by the Quebec English School Boards Association.

He paused for a couple of seconds before replying "I don't know", while noting schools in Ontario - the most populous of Canada's 10 provinces - were not going to reopen soon.

The number of cases in hospital is stable, but has not declined as hoped, he said.

"While no English school board will reopen any of its schools and centres earlier than the dates proposed by the Government of Quebec, the respective English School Boards will decide if and when each of their schools and centres may reopen, once they determine that all the conditions required can be met in each instance", said the QESBA.

On Sunday, Roberge made it clear that he expected school boards to respect the government's timeline. "We are also convinced that the worldwide health considerations can not be met in many schools by the deadlines the government is imposing", said QESBA President Dan Lamoureux in a press release.

Meanwhile, Quebec is moving forward with a plan to open retail stores outside Montreal on Monday, while those in the greater Montreal region are to reopen a week later, as long as they have their own dedicated entrance.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is defending his plan to reopen schools and retail stores ahead of most other provinces, saying he is following directions from public health officials.

Quebec's provincial elected officials will also be returning to work at the provincial legislature May 13, The Canadian Press has learned.

Sources have said parliamentary activities will resume gradually over several weeks, but will include three question periods by the week of May 25.

However, offiicials announced just 16 more people in the hospital than the 1,738 reported Saturday, and four less people were in intensive care than there were Saturday for a total of 218.

The news came as Quebec registered another large jump in COVID-19 cases.

"If a province started to reopen and sadly saw an explosion in new cases, it would be up to that province to react".

Quebec has seen more than half the country's 60,000 COVID-19 cases and almost 60 percent of Canada's 3,700 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials said the 1,317 missed cases in April were mainly from Montreal, Laval and the Monteregie regions.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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