Quebec Emerging as a Leader Within Canada in Dealing With COVID-19

A few weeks ago, McGill University law professor Daniel Weinstock was considering suing the Quebec government for defamation, but today hes lauding Premier Francois Legault for his response to COVID−19.

Legault tended to be blustery and boastful during his first year in power, Weinstock said on march 18, but since the public health crisis hit Quebec in earnest last week, the premier has set the right tone.

“As someone, who as you know, not even a month ago, had a bit of a run-in with this government, you have to give credit where credit is due,” he said in an interview. “Even with respect to a government that, in general, Ive had a lot of trouble with.”

Legault was among the first leaders in Canada to take immediate steps to stop the spread of COVID−19. Last week, he prohibited all government workers from travelling abroad and banned all public gatherings of more than 250 people.

On Saturday, he urged everyone 70 years and older to stay indoors and cancelled visits to seniors centres and hospitals. The next day, he ordered all bars, gyms, theatres and cinemas to close. Other provinces have since followed suit.

Tourists in masks walk past the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on March 18, 2020. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images)

Amy Swiffen, professor of sociology and anthropology at Concordia University, said Quebec “seems to be in the lead when it comes to responding” to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Partys coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Swiffen, who has been researching Canadas response to pandemics since the 2003 SARS outbreak, said in an interview, “it seems the measures were taken here a few days before other provinces.”

On Monday, Legault took another novel approach, appealing to influencers in the entertainment and sports world to use their popularity among young people and warn them against congregating in groups. “This is not the time to party,” Legault said.

Not long ago, the premier was facing attacks from minority community and civil rights activists for his governments approach to reducing immigration and banning some public servants from wearing religious symbols on the job.

In February, his Coalition Avenir Quebec government faced an uproar from the academic community when the education minister revoked Weinstocks invitation to speak at a public forum.

The move followed a newspaper column that falsely stated Weinstock had advocated the symbolic circumcision of young girls, and Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge eventually apologized.

Today, Weinstock, who has been highly critical of the governments other policies, particularly around the secularism law, says the premier “has found the right balance of caution, concern, of assurance” during daily briefings to the media alongside the provinces director of public health, Horacio Arruda.

“And its important now, especially in an age where people have so many different sources of information coming at them—some reliable, some completely unreliable—to have a daily briefing that sets the tone for the next 24 hours … and hes doing it very well.”

Coronavirus Lab Canada
Coronavirus Lab Canada
Alyson Kelvin, who is working on different virus solutions, at her University of Saskatchewan lab inside VIDO-InterVac in Saskatoon, on March 13, 2020. (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press)

Legaults political opponents have also noticed.

Gaetan Barrette, the former Liberal health ministerRead More – Source

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