The Town of Gaspé waited until Sunday before closing its public buildings to the population because the town aligns its decisions with instructions from the Quebec and Federal governments.
This is how Mayor Daniel Côté explains the two days that passed between a decision implemented Friday in Carleton-sur-Mer and that of his Town. Côté said that “clear directives” on the closure of municipal buildings, arenas and recreational facilities came Sunday from Quebec Premier François Legault.
The mayor noted that no such instructions had been issued on Friday. “Friday morning, a lot of people implored me not to close the sports and leisure facilities so that young people would still have something to do,” says Daniel Côté.
The Town of Gaspé also decided to keep its airport open for medical emergencies and “to allow our Gaspé residents to return.” The mayor however asked the population not to go there, and not to go to the Town Hall, except in the case of absolute necessity. He also said that the municipal garages and fire stations are closed to the public. For the airport, the Town will adjust according to instructions that may come from the Federal government.
The Town of Gaspé has also decreed “the cancellation of all non-essential meetings,” and asks its residents to use the telephone, email and mail to contact municipal employees. The tax account deadline of March 31 has been extended to April 30.
Mayor Côté is asking citizens not to call the town hall to settle questions relating to other levels of government, such as accusations of people not respecting quarantine, an element of Quebec jurisdiction, or private business issues. “We are concentrating on municipal powers,” he insists.
The deputy of Bonaventure at the National Assembly, Sylvain Roy has voluntarily placed himself in quarantine after having flu-like symptoms. “My symptoms are mild, but the treatment I received for cancer (in 2018) makes me cautious. I was refused a (covid-19) test because I am not sick enough,” he says.
Diane Lebouthillier also placed herself in quarantine because she was in Ottawa for a period of time. She is working from home.
Meanwhile, the Integrated Health and Social Services Centre of the Gaspé Peninsula cancelled a March 16 conference call with the regional press because of an order from the Department of Health. The cancellation occurred two minutes before the scheduled call. No further explanation was given.