While the gaspé peninsula appears to be little affected by the pandemic, many voices were raised to request the retention of some control points that should be raised to 18 next may.
12 may 2020 15: 40
Updated 17: 20
Removal of control points: the Gaspesians suspicious
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
A week of the lifting of roadblocks, the population of the Gaspé peninsula is still suspicious to the arrival of potential tourists, for fear that the COVID-19 invites also. Many advocate a gradual opening of the region, rather than simply removing control points.
While the gaspé peninsula appears to be little affected by the pandemic, many voices were raised to request the retention of some control points that should be raised to 18 may. As in the Bas-St-Laurent that in the Gaspé peninsula, there are fears that a possible wave of tourists will allow the virus to settle in for good in eastern Quebec.
“It worries me”, says Cynthia Ouellet, who has shared the petition, signed by over 21,000 people, calling for the maintenance of roadblocks in the Bas-St-Laurent and the Gaspé peninsula up to the end of June. Same sound of bell on the side of André Ouellet, a retired Gaspé. “People are going to save from the cities to the regions, and this is where the problem will start for us,” he thinks.
“It is necessary to expect to receive outside people, and I understand them! If one puts in the head of a montreal family in tele-working has the means, the Gaspésie is a safer place to protect his family. But they are likely to contaminate our region. Here, the population is older and the medical resources are more limited than in major centres”, declared the mother of two young children. On social networks, the vast majority of comments go in the same direction. “It would be a shame to say the following : “have known””, she adds.
A déconfinement gradual
Allen Cormier, prefect, RCM Haute-Gaspésie, where only two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, the déconfinement should be done in a gradual way, beginning by allow travel between the Bas-St-Laurent and Gaspésie. “Our two areas are very related, be it economic, social or tourism. There are also portraits sanitary similar”, he says.
According to him, it is that allows travelers to corners of the least infected of the province to visit the Gaspé peninsula as one will be able to better assess the impact of tourists on the spread of the virus in the region. “It will allow us to assess the level of risk, and if all goes well, we may open to other regions. But the word order, it is really gradually, “said Mr. Cormier.
The prefects ask models to Quebec
Without, however, object to the lifting of roadblocks, the grouping of the MRC de la Gaspésie application to Quebec for more transparency in order to prepare for the reopening of the region to tourists. “You want to have tools to be able to position themselves in full knowledge of the cause,” explained Nadia Minassian, préfète de la MRC du Rocher-Percé and the president of the regroupement des MRC de la Gaspésie.
Following a telephone interview with the minister of tourism, Caroline Proulx, last Friday, the grouping request to the provincial government to provide local elected officials of the models and forecasts of the impact of the influx of tourists to the region. These models would allow them to better position itself and to put in place the necessary measures to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in gaspesian territory.
At the time of writing these lines, 172 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in which a quarantine that are still active, according to the public health.