Spokesperson Mathieu Filion confirmed the news to MTL Blog on Sunday — the day after La Grande Roue issued a press release about "a serious accident involving one of the employees" that occurred on December 25.
"Police are investigating and La Grande Roue de Montreal is fully cooperating with the investigation. Pending the investigation we cannot comment on the situation," the press release says. "Our thoughts are with our employee and those near to him."
La Presse reported that the victim was a 22-year-old man who was doing maintenance work on the Ferris wheel at the time of the accident, which it said took place at around 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Montreal police told MTL Blog that the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) is handling media relations for this incident. MTL Blog reached out to CNESST but did not receive an immediate response.
According to La Presse, CNESST is currently on site.
La Grande Roue de Montréal will remain closed until further notice.
In an Instagram post, La Grande Roue said it would inform the public when the attraction reopens. It reminded customers that tickets are valid up to one year from the date they were purchased.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Since Valcin's passing, a GoFundMe has been created by Roberto Rivera-Rubio, an individual who said he was like a brother to them, to help collect funds "to pay for funeral service costs and all expenses that could affect the family."
The fundraiser's page explains that "Any money remaining will be used to support Riley’s mother so that she may grieve with the least possible inconvenience."
Rivera-Rubio described Valcin as having "a bright future ahead of him. As a civil engineering student at Polytechnique, he aspired to become a great engineer." He was said to be a "born warrior; one to never turn away from a challenge."
Valcin will be remembered as "a person who was always there for those dear to him as well as for those he barely knew. He filled the hearts of those around him with joy, laughter and serenity."
"He truly was an easy-to-talk-to person leaving everyone he spoke to with a sentiment of ease."
In less than 24 hours of creating the GoFundMe for Riley Jonathan Valcin, donations had already surpassed $38,600 and the amount continued to rise by the minute.
In a social media post, the company wrote "we are heartbroken" and went on to say, "our priority right now is to support the family, friends, and the team in their grieving process."
The management team for the Old Port's Grande Roue de Montréal took to social media Monday to share team members' condolences for the death of an employee on Christmas Day. The team identified the employee as Riley Jonathan Valcin and called the circumstances of his death a tragic accident.
"We are heartbroken," the social media post reads.
"Our first thoughts go out to Riley, his family, friends and his Grande Roue team who will all miss him greatly."
The management team said Valcin was one of the site's "most senior and respected employees," calling him a "friendly, positive, and helpful person," and a "wonderful colleague."
"Our priority right now," the management team concluded, "is to support the family, friends, and the team in their grieving process."
On Facebook, the company called for respect in the comments section and asked readers to join in expressions of grief and remembrance.
The Grande Roue has been closed since Valcin was injured. It has not released details of the incident, saying in a Saturday press release that it would not comment on the situation pending a police investigation.
On Sunday, the Montreal police told MTL Blog that the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) was handling official communications regarding the incident at the ferris wheel.
MTL Blog has reached out to the CNESST for more information. We'll update this article when we get a response.
The Grande Roue said it will post an update when the ride reopens.
There are temps of 30 C or more along with a humidex of 40+ "for at least one hour" or
The temperature is 40 C or higher
"Due to the summer heatwaves and the risks associated with excessive heat, we have taken the decision, in collaboration with the CNESST and the public health authorities, to permit the removal of quality masks in the workplace," said Labour Minister Jean Boulet in a press release.
Once the extreme heat is over (i.e. once the temperature dips below 30 C), it's back to wearing masks outside, however.
As of August 1, Quebec instituted several new COVID-19 rule relaxations including the extension of alcohol service in bars and more spectators in arenas and stadiums.