In a press conference on November 24, Premier François Legault outlined regions of Quebec where COVID-19 cases are especially high — and according to him, they are not urban centres.
Legault said the six regions that are having trouble bringing down the curve of the second wave are: Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Estrie, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Lanaudière, Bas-Saint-Laurent, and Sorel-Tracy in Montérégie.
Legault noted that Montreal and Quebec City, Quebec's largest cities, are not currently being hit hardest by the pandemic.
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
Mary Simon's approval rating is lower in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada, a poll released Wednesday showed, because the new governor general can't speak French.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 2,049 Canadians found only 49% of Quebecers approve of her appointment compared to 74% of respondents in the rest of the country.
"Despite being from Nunavik (the Inuit homeland in Northern Quebec), and having been awarded the [province's] highest distinction, many Quebecers remain unconvinced Mary Simon is the best choice for governor general due to her lack of fluency in French," stated the Angus Reid Institute.
"Support is cleaved along linguistic divides in the only majority Francophone province in Canada," it continued, as only 40% of Quebecers whose first language is French approve of her appointment compared to 81% of English speakers.
Though Simon, the country's first Indigenous governor general, is not currently fluent in French, she has promised to learn, Angus Reid stated.
LIVE: Federal officials release updated COVID-19 modelling. Watch it here: https://t.co/9GAw2HW1Le
— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)
"[The forecast] suggests that we are at the start of the Delta-driven fourth wave," Tam said.
However, she said the trajectory could change with rising numbers of fully vaccinated Canadians, as well as the "timing, pace and extent of reopening."
While some resurgence of the virus is expected as cities across Canada ease their public health restrictions, according to Tam, a rapid rise in new COVID-19 cases could mean that the country is reopening too quickly.
The updated modelling data showed that if Canadians increase their daily contacts with others by 25%, Canada could see at least 10,000 new cases daily by September.
Based on data from 11 provinces and territories, Tam said that from mid-December to July 12, only 0.5% of new cases were found in fully vaccinated Canadians. Unvaccinated Canadians made up 89.7% of new cases in the same time period.
In a July 29 tweet, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said the province is in a "better position every day" to combat the Delta variant in Quebec.