Re-opening of the Bas-Saint-Laurent: a decision that is not unanimous

Réouverture du Bas-Saint-Laurent: une décision qui ne fait pas l'unanimité

Réouverture du Bas-Saint-Laurent: une décision qui ne fait pas l'unanimité

The regional roundtable of elected officials of Bas-Saint-Laurent (TREMBSL), which brings together the mayors and the prefects of the MRCS of the territory, opposes the reopening of the region, with the exception of the mayor of Rimouski.

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8 may 2020 20: 05

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Re-opening of the Bas-Saint-Laurent: a decision that is not unanimous

Réouverture du Bas-Saint-Laurent: une décision qui ne fait pas l'unanimité

Réouverture du Bas-Saint-Laurent: une décision qui ne fait pas l'unanimité

Johanne Fournier

Special Collaboration

MATANE — The decision by Québec to lift the roadblocks in the Bas-Saint-Laurent on may 18, is not unanimous. While the mayor of Rimouski welcomes this decision, other elected officials of the eight county territory, calling for maintaining the barriers erected in the west.

The regional roundtable of elected officials of Bas-Saint-Laurent (TREMBSL), which brings together the mayors and the prefects of the MRCS of the territory, opposes the re-opening of the western sector of the region, with the exception of the mayor of Rimouski. “I’m not okay with elected officials, is to know Marc Parent. I clearly said that I don approuvais not this approach-there.”

“The eight prefects are unanimous,” says the president of the TREMBSL, Michel Lagacé. It remains the Parent who stands alone. Other elected officials have wanted to represent the public’s concerns. In his case, he has other interests that are economic. But, when health is not going to, it is difficult for the economy to go well! In the event that the pandemic in the Bas-Saint-Laurent will worsen, this is not the economy that is going to improve!”

Réouverture du Bas-Saint-Laurent: une décision qui ne fait pas l'unanimité

The mayor of Rimouski, Marc Parent

Library The Sun

If Mr. Lagacé is proud to say that the position of his body is unanimous, the mayor Parent believes it is, rather, a freudian slip, as the prefect of the MRC de Rimouski-Neigette was also reported, earlier this week, that he was unfavourable to the position of its counterparts. “I don’t think this is a solution, but I agree, in solidarity with my brothers,” said Francis St-Pierre.

Concerns

“Even if we are not experts or specialists, we listen to our people, supports Michel Lagacé, who is also the prefect of the MRC of Rivière-du-Loup. It represents the concerns and interests of our people, and we are well aware that the control of the pandemic, more to the west, is not something acquired.” Although he wished to maintain the closure of the western area of its territory, Mr. Lagacé said that the Bas-Saint-Laurent, which is part of the cold regions of Quebec, is in solidarity with the ” hot ” zones, particularly of Montreal and its periphery. In evidence, he recalled that a dozen employees of the health region have moved to these areas to go lend a hand.

“It must be remembered that when the borders were closed in seven regions of Quebec, it was at the request of the directorates of public health and regional and this is what has made it so that one could, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, to control an episode that might have been more painful for our people and our health system. For us, it is extremely significant.”

For Michel Lagacé, it is crucial to take into account a factor that makes the population of the Bas-Saint-Laurent vulnerable: 25% of the population is aged 65 years and over. “Our population is ageing and wishes to be protected. There is a concern that is very important to her.”

Opening to the east

The elect do however see no problem to dismantle the roadblock is, either the one with the Gaspe peninsula. “The situation is under control,” stresses the president of the Table. Mr Lagacé also asks the déconfinement of the Green island, near Rivière-du-Loup.

During the reopening of the region, the TREMBSL request that the first people who are allowed to cross the territorial limits are the owners of secondary residences, and that a voluntary quarantine of 14 days is recommended. “People who have second homes, they are also our citizens,” says Michel Lagacé.

The right balance

“There are, of course, of the imperatives of health, but also economic imperatives and the need to find the right balance between the two, which will ensure that the population of the Bas-Saint-Laurent and the Rimouski will face the least risk possible to be infected by the COVID-19,” argues the mayor of Rimouski. We don’t want to end up with a lot of shops closed!!! There are workers who do not have access to it, in the next few weeks, to the different premiums that have been paid by the various levels of governments, entrepreneurs who face financial pressures extremely important and which will also have different financial aid complete.”

“This is not because the areas are hot that you must put an X on all economic activity and tourism! ”


Marc Parent

In addition, Marc Parent expresses empathy for the warmest parts of Quebec. “The people of quebec has always been extremely supportive and must demonstrate a solidarity with these people who are going through difficult times. I would tend to say that a true friend, it is in the most difficult moments that one knows how to recognize. The reflex of wanting to isolate themselves from the hot zones does not send a message of solidarity. According to me, it sends rather a message that we are interested to have them on our territory when everything is going well. But, when we need to stick together, we lock the doors. This is not the message that I want people to remember about the city of Rimouski. This is not because the areas are hot that you must put an X on all economic activity and tourism!”

Mayor Parent said that a large part of the economy of his city comes from the neighbouring regions as well as those of Quebec and Montreal. He spends annually$ 1.3 billion in Rimouski. Of this amount,$ 600 million from the pockets of the residents of Rimouski. By opening the region, the elected representative is aware, however, that the health of some citizens will therefore be sacrificed. “I’ve always said that there will be new cases of COVID-19 on our territory. It is undeniable!”

Like the position of the regional roundtable of elected officials, a petition calling for the retention of police roadblocks limiting access to the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie. Friday, nearly 20,000 people had signed the petition on a target of 25 000.

Le Soleil

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