The relocation of Marine and Julien the city centre of Gaspé (photo), has been much more complicated than expected.
6 June 2020 17h42
Settle in the Gaspé peninsula in full pandemic
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
If install in a new area is often a challenge, do so in full pandemic is all the more. Place aux jeunes, an organization promoting the migration and the establishment of young graduates in the region, has had to review its ways of doing things in order to sell the Gaspé peninsula, while respecting sanitary measures.
New environment, social circle, to rebuild and move combine poorly with quarantine and social distancing, according to the officer of the migration of the organization to the MRC of Côte-de-Gaspé, Mélissa Fortin-Lapointe. “It is more difficult to sell the heat gaspé to two meters of distance !” she says, laughing.
“The body has the habit to propose to those interested to come for a stay exploratory in the peninsula, a kind of “petite seduction gaspé”,” explains Mélissa Fortin-Lapointe. In small groups, we present the Gaspé peninsula to the curious of the four corners of Québec, and it puts them in contact with potential employers and residents in the area.
This is how Marine Lautier and Julien, a young couple settled in Montreal since 5 years, have taken the decision to move to Gaspé. “We really got a favourite, there are a lot of opportunities, a lot of dynamism,” explains Julien, who will begin his training in adventure tourism at the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles in a few months.
Discover the Gaspésie online
In order to continue to provide its services, the organization has had to innovate and turn to the web, for example, by offering newcomers a virtual tour of the Musée de la Gaspésie. “It requires a lot of creativity, but it is nice to find new ways to discover our region,” explains Melissa. She and her colleagues also proposed a Vigil Virtual.
These activities, while online, to the delight of newcomers who participate in it. “It was very much appreciated, it makes us meet people and we learn more about our new region”, note Navy. They could continue, even once the pandemic has passed, according to Melissa Fortin-Lapointe. “It allows us to present our region to people who may not necessarily move people who are far away”, she explains.
Move into a pandemic
If they have not had difficulty finding housing, something rare in Gaspé, Marine and Julien have not found any rest from having to make a new home while respecting the quatorzaine recommended by public health. “We had difficulty to take delivery, including the grocery store,” explains Julien. Find appliances has also been a challenge for the couple who has still not managed to find a washing machine, even more than two months after their arrival. “The people who come from the COVID-19 have a lot of hard to find furniture and home appliances, especially second-hand, it is a challenge,” confirms Melissa Fortin-Lapointe.
Another challenge, getting a new social circle. “We did not really have the opportunity to meet people because of social distancing,” says Marine, a finding that is shared by the officer in-migration. “The biggest challenge, is to meet people, not to isolate itself”, she adds.
Place aux jeunes works on the organization of activities in face-to-face respecting the measures of distance-physical to allow newcomers to create a network of contacts.