As the new year begins, the regional public health is reporting 115 new cases of COVID-19. Currently, in the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands there are 522 active cases and 2 hospitalizations.
MRC New Cases Active Cases Avignon +16 79 Bonaventure +27 100 Rocher-Percé +34 137 Côte-de-Gaspé +16 69 Haute-Gaspésie +10 78 Îles-de-la-Madeleine +12 59 Gaspé Peninsula Magdalen Islands Total +115 522
There are currently, several province-wide measures in place, with the goal to reduce the rapid spread and rising number of cases in the province. Measures include a curfew, closures and limitations to certain businesses.
- between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- those going or coming from work or transporting goods for a business
- a person going to the pharmacy
- returning from a medical appointment
- going or returning from a vaccination appointment
- visiting a sick or injured parent
- students attending in-person evening classes
- parents taking or picking up children from shared custody
- for final travel to a destination requiring an inter-regional or inter-provincial bus, train, plane or boat providing ferry service
- to comply with a court judgment, to respond to a summons to appear before a court, or to exercise custody or access rights as a parent
- accompany another person unable to drive to a medical appointment or an other essential service.
- a parent taking a sick child to the hospital or clinic
- to donate blood
- homeless people
Offenders are liable to fines ranging from $1000 to $6000 if they are unable to adequately justify why they are outside the home. Young people 14 years of age and over are subject to a $500 fine.
- Private indoor gatherings (exception members of the same household, visitor or support for person residing alone)
- Mandatory tele-work for any activity that can take place remotely
- Meetings or assemblies
- Private gatherings in rental halls
- Restaurant dining rooms
- Places of worship (exception funerals which are limited to 25 people)
- All non-essential shops closed on Sundays (convenience stores, gas stations and pharmacies deemed essential)
- Spas and saunas (personal care permitted)
- Indoor sports suspended (unless individual or in pairs by members of the same household, or a person living alone with one other person)
- Downhill ski centres and snowmobile relays (indoor access to sanitary facilities and to warm up, but no eating permitted)
- Outdoor events max 250 people vaccination passport required
- Stores capacity limit (1 client per 20m2 of sales area)
- Elementary and high schools return January 17
- School daycare facilities open to essential workers
- Childcare facilities remain open as usual.
Essential workers in the following categories can book their booster-shot appointments
- All school personnel
- All public security staff
- Staff in community organizations in the health and social service sectors
- Some employees in the agriculture, fisheries and food sectors (food inspectors and slaughterhouse workers)
- Private-sector healthcare workers
- Other workers in the health sector (in social-economy enterprises providing home care services, palliative care, etc.)
Beginning on Tuesday, January 4, bookings for booster shots will be opened up gradually and by age group
- Currently: ages 60 to 64
- January 4: ages 55 to 59
- January 6: ages 50 to 54
- January 10: ages 45 to 49
- January 12: ages 40 to 44
- January 17: ages 35 to 39
- January 17: ages 30 to 34
- January 19: ages 25 to 29
- January 21: age 18 and up
“The colour orange always reminded me how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying, and no one cared,” Phyllis Webstad
Phyllis Webstad is from the Stswecem’c (Canoe Creek) Xgat’tem (Dog Creek) First Nation. When she was six years old, she was sent to St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in B.C. She wanted to look nice, so she chose to wear an orange shirt given to her by her grandmother. When she arrived at the school her orange shirt was taken from her, and she was forced to wear a uniform. This was just the beginning of the many things that were taken from her and all children who entered residential schools.
In 2013 Phyllis Webstad started Orange Shirt Day to remind people about the abuse and neglect that the children suffered. Wearing an Orange Shirt honours the children who did not come home and the survivors, their families and their communities.
Orange Shirt Day (Truth and Reconciliation Day) 2021 is now a federal holiday, with postal workers, federal government staff and bank employees getting the day off. The day is one of reflection on atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples. Only three provinces have designated the day as an official holiday. In provinces where it is not designated, it is up to employers whether to give the day off. In Quebec, September 30 is not a provincial holiday.
Orange Shirt Day is a symbol of the “stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.”
On this day:
- Wear an orange shirt purchased from an Indigenous company (Mi’kmaq Printing and design at www.mikmaqprinting.com).
- Read and reflect on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report 94 calls to action. Google: 94 Calls to Action
- Donate $30 to a local or national Indigenous organization working to improve the lives of children, families, individuals and communities.
- Watch online events hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
- 48 books by Indigenous Writers to read to understand residential schools – article available online at CBC Books, June 10, 2021.
- Read Phyllis Webstad’s book, The Orange Shirt Story.