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  • All non-essential businesses must close

    MARCH 23: Quebec Premier François Legault announced today that, effective at midnight, March 24, all the stores, businesses, factories and shops not appearing on a list of “essential services” will have to shut down their operations for three weeks, until April 13.

    The preliminary list of essential services is now available in French on the Government of Quebec website.  It is not clear if commercial fisheries are included in the essential services or not. So far, food production has been maintained in Quebec as an essential service. Pascale Fortin, director of communications at the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans points out that the ministry is currently studying the situation. The snow crab fishing season is supposed to start on March 25 in zone 17, which covers the area between Trois-Pistoles and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.


    List of essential services according to Government of Quebec website

    Essential health care services, including:

    • All occupations in the health and social services network
    • Pre-hospital emergency services (paramedics and dispatchers)
    • Private professional resource offices (health network)
    • Pharmacies
    • Dentists (emergency consultations)
    • Optometry (emergency services)
    • Intermediate resources and private seniors’ residences
    • Home services for seniors, the disabled and the vulnerable
    • Specialized accommodation resources (domestic violence, homelessness, drug addiction, etc.)
    • 811 and 911 call centre workers
    • Héma Québec
    • Transplant-Quebec
    • Red Cross
    • National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ)
    • Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
    • Production, supply and distribution of drugs, vaccines and pharmaceutical goods and medical equipment (including laboratory and research centre)
    • Veterinarians
    • Animal shelters

    Public security services, including:

    • Police services, including dispatch of emergency calls (municipal and Sûreté du Québec)
    • Fire services
    • Correctional services
    • Special constables
    • Security agencies
    • Ministry of Public Security (civil security and coroners)
    • Forest firefighters and all types of professionals supporting civil security operations
    • Courthouse (Staff required to maintain minimum operations)
    • Communication services

    The following essential government services:

    • Educators and support staff for emergency child care
    • Online higher education
    • Providers of goods and services for poor citizens
    • Food inspection
    • Waste collection
    • Government Air Services
    • Suicide prevention centre
    • Communication centre with clients of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity
    • Assistance services for victims of domestic violence
    • Income security and social security
    • Resources deemed essential by the municipalities (administration, public works, etc.).

    Maintenance and operations of strategic infrastructure, including:

    • Energy production, supply, transport and distribution (electricity, fossil fuels)
    • Keeping essential public infrastructure in good working order (bridges, municipal buildings, etc.)
    • Construction and maintenance of essential activities linked in particular to public and private infrastructure which may involve a risk to public health and safety (private dam, management of dangerous and radioactive materials, etc.)
    • Sanitary services and supply chain (example: water treatment plant)
    • IT resources (security, maintenance, urgent needs related to the situation)
    • Data centres

    Essential manufacturing activities, including:

    • Food production (examples: agricultural businesses, food processing, beverage, slaughterhouses, vegetable production)
    • Production of necessary inputs for essential sectors
    • Manufacture of medical instruments
    • Chemical manufacturing
    • Manufacture of sanitary products
    • Manufacturing of microelectronics components
    • Industrial complexes (especially the aluminum sector) and mining must minimize their activities
    • Defence manufacturing and maintenance

    Essential businesses, including:

    • Grocery stores and other food businesses
    • Pharmacies
    • Convenience stores
    • Large surface outside of shopping centres (offering grocery, pharmacy or hardware services)
    • Products for agricultural holdings (mechanics, fertilizers, etc.)
    • Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC)
    • Funeral homes, cremation and cemeteries
    • Restaurants (take out or delivery counters only)
    • Hotels
    • Cleaners and laundromat
    • Medical and orthopedic businesses
    • Pet food stores and supplies
    • Movers
    • Work equipment (safety and protection)

    The following media and telecommunications services:

    • Telecommunications (network and equipment)
    • Cable distributors
    • Printers (only for printing newspapers)
    • National media
    • Local media

    Banking and financial services, including:

    • Financial services (Financial institutions, ATMs and other payment methods)
    • Insurance services (telephone service)
    • Payroll services
    • Accounting services
    • Financial market services

    In the construction sector:

    • Construction firms for emergency repairs or for security purposes
    • Electricians and plumbers and other trades for emergency services
    • Rental equipment

    Building maintenance and upkeep services, including:

    • Janitorial services
    • Firms related to building maintenance (elevators, ventilation, alarm, etc.)

    The following essential transport and logistics services:

    • Public transport and transport of people
    • Ports and airports
    • Maintenance services of locomotives, aircraft and essential aeronautical operations (air transport)
    • Supply and distribution of food, groceries and convenience stores
    • Transport, storage and distribution of essential goods
    • Snow removal and maintenance of functional road links
    • Service stations and mechanical repair of motor vehicles, trucks and specialized equipment for industries considered essential
    • Taxis and adapted transit services
    • Postal, courier and parcel delivery services

    If your business activity is not listed above, but you think it is essential or that it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you can apply for designation as essential business. A telephone line will be set up shortly.

    The businesses and services targeted on this list, must ensure that the people present in their establishments respect, as far as possible, the principles of social distancing.


  • Update regarding cases of Covid-19 on the Gaspé Peninsula

    The Gaspé Peninsula Public Health Board is conducting investigations of two probable cases of covid-19. The two cases are considered “probable” until there is confirmation by the Winnipeg laboratory where all the initial analyses are sent. An investigation means that health officials are attempting to  retrace the whereabouts (retracing their movements so as to ensure all others that may have come into contact with them were properly informed) of the two.

    Dr. Iv Bonnier-Viger, Director of Public Health in the region, points out that if someone has not been contacted yet by the authorities, chances are that he or she has not been in contact with either of the cases.

    In both cases, it is believed that they returned from a trip before instructions were put in place for those returning from abroad. The two people in question are in their respective homes and their symptoms are considered mild. They have not been hospitalized.

    They are in a restricted area of their house, and their family members are in quarantine in that house.

    Although one of the two people has confirmed on facebook of being infected by the coronavirus, Dr. Bonnier-Viger will not release additional information about that case, or the other case, for ethical reasons.

    Chantal Duguay, director of the Regional Health and Social Service Centre (CISSS) encourages people coming back from a trip to start their quarantine right at the airport.

    She urges people to stay calm, polite and respectful, especially on social media. There will an “after pandemic” and people will have to live together again.