Quebec Premier Francois Legault has rejected Justin Trudeau’s attempt to crush the Freedom Convoy protest movement by invoking emergency powers and has also started to lift covid restrictions.
On Monday Legault said “I think that I was very clear with the prime minister that the federal Emergencies Act should not, must not apply in Quebec. We don’t have any problems in Quebec so far. The Sureté du Québec has everything under control.”
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On Tuesday Quebec announced the beginning of the end for vaccine passports
Breitbart reports: There were Freedom Convoy demonstrations in Montreal and Quebec City over the past two weeks, but they were relatively restrained and mostly held over weekends. Legault said using the emergency powers offered by Trudeau against the protesters would be unwarranted and divisive.
“I think that at this moment, it would not help the social climate. There’s a lot of pressure right now, and I think we have to be careful. We really don’t need to throw oil on the fire,” he said.
Quebec lifted more of the restrictions opposed by the protesters on Monday. On Tuesday, plans were announced to begin removing vaccine passport requirements in stages, with the process completed by March 14.
CTV News reported that size restrictions on private gatherings have been lifted in Quebec, restaurants can seat more customers, four visitors a day are now permitted at old age homes if they have vaccine passports, and seniors are permitted limited outings.
Gyms and spas are now allowed to operate at half capacity, while outdoor events will be allowed with up to five thousand attendees.
Beginning on February 21, capacity limits will be removed on retail outlets, places of worship will be allowed to operate at half capacity, and amusement parks will be allowed to reopen with attendance limits. A week later, the capacity limits are due to be removed from houses of worship and all but the largest arenas, while bars and casinos will be allowed to reopen at half capacity. Most of the capacity limits are supposed to be phased out by the middle of March.
On Tuesday, Quebec announced the beginning of the end for vaccine passports, amusingly beginning with liquor and cannabis stores on Wednesday. The passports will be gone almost entirely by March 14, which is also when Health Minister Christian Dube is expected to begin distributing antiviral treatments for the Wuhan coronavirus.
“Proof of vaccination will still be required for domestic rail and air travel, as mandated by the federal government. Masks will also still be required in all public indoor spaces in the province,” CBC News noted.
Dube insisted the abrupt decision to remove vaccine passport requirements had nothing to do with the Freedom Convoy protests.
“We’re doing it because it’s the right time to do it. Because it’s safe for public health. And as I said, it’s there when we need it,” he said, threatening to bring the passport system back if another coronavirus outbreak hits the province.
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