Whether or not Premier François Legault's credibility has diminished in recent weeks is up for debate but Quebec's leader wants you all to know that he's "doing his best" when it comes to managing the pandemic.
Like "all Quebecers," said the premier on Thursday, he's "not perfect."
"Quebecers, they see that I do my best," said Legault, "but when we need to make some adjustments, I'm doing that very fast."
Legault faced some heat after announcing several changes to mask rules at the beginning of the month, mandating that people needed to wear masks outdoors if they can't maintain a two-metre distance. But on April 14, Legault wrote a lengthy Facebook post that backtracked on the outdoor mask rules.
Legault also didn't pull his punches when criticizing his political opposition at the National Assembly and said that "the opposition doesn't respect public health, they don't believe what public health is saying."
Premier François Legault recently announced that unvaccinated Quebecers are going to be charged a "significant" fee if they refuse to get at least their first dose in the next few weeks unless they have a medical reason not to.
The premier began by saying that the Government of Quebec will "reach out one by one" to the 600,000 adults who have not yet received a vaccine dose to inform them about the fee and ensure that the person is not in a vulnerable situation and has good reasons to refuse the vaccine.
"The objective, indeed, is to be able to have a list of people who refuse to be vaccinated, not for medical reasons, not because they don't speak French or because they don't have access to vaccines. And these people, if they really refuse, given that they bring an enormous burden on the health care system, I think it is normal that they pay a contribution," Legault stated
How much such will cost has not been announced yet, nor is it known exactly what form it will take. The "health contribution" was compared on the program to a "fine" received for running a red light.
Guy A. Lepage, one of the show's hosts, asked Mr. Legault how the government was going to get the list of non-vaccinated people, since patients' medical information is supposed to be protected by confidentiality.
Government lawyers are working on this and a bill is expected to be debated with the opposition parties in the National Assembly in early February, which is when we'll find out how much the fee would cost.
According to Legault, if important surgeries are postponed, it is "often because of the non-vaccinated."
"One person going into intensive care can cost up to $50,000. Multiply that [by] a few hundred non-vaccinated people continually adding up, it's a lot of money, but it's mostly a risk for all the people who have their surgeries postponed."
In the latest turn of events in the mounting national opposition to Quebec's controversial Bill 21, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that Toronto's city council will vote on a motion to help fund legal battles against the law, which bans many public servants from wearing religious symbols while performing their duties.
Tory also voiced his personal opposition to Bill 21 in a statement published on Twitter. "I continue to be opposed to Quebec's Bill 21. Today, I will ask City Council to help fund the legal fight against Bill 21," the mayor wrote.
I continue to be opposed to Quebec's Bill 21. Toronto City Council has also repeatedly voiced its opposition to this bill. Today, I will ask City Council to help fund the legal fight against Bill 21.pic.twitter.com/TyekKVJ2NX
This news follows a recent letter published by Brampton, Ontario mayor Patrick Brown in which he implores mayors across Canada to consider pooling their cities' financial resources to help "fight Bill 21 in the courts."
Mayor Tory said Thursday that he stands with Brown and "[encourages] other cities across Canada to join this fight to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
In the past week, Quebec has been under fire for applying Bill 21 to remove elementary school teacher Fatemeh Anvari, who wears a hijab, from her position in the city of Chelsea. The incident prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak out against the law.
"I don't find that in a free and open society that someone should lose their job because of their religion," Trudeau said at a press conference on Monday.
Quebec Premier François Legault clapped back, insisting laws need to be enforced. He said the local school board made a mistake by hiring Anvari.
What will Legault have to say about this latest move by Tory?
At a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several other government representatives announced huge new investments into Canada's aerospace industry. These investments are set to create "more than 1,000" high-paying jobs in Quebec and the rest of Canada.
"The projects announced today are tangible platforms for creating exciting jobs," Aéro Montréal explained in a press release.
Mayor Valérie Plante announced Thursday that Montreal will host free screenings of the Stanley Cup Final with the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Quartier des Spectacles beginning with Game 3 on Friday, July 2.
"For several days now, we have been working hard to find solutions to offer Montrealers places to gather, while respecting the health measures in force in order to watch the matches of the Montreal Canadiens for free," the mayor said in a press release.
"In a united and unifying spirit, and in a safe environment that respects public health rules, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership is very excited to be able to offer a free series of public screenings of the matches of the Stanley Cup Final," Monique Simard, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, added.
She suggested the games would be projected at the Place des Festivals.
Despite the government's rejection of the Habs' request to have more fans inside the Bell Centre, fans will be happy to know that they'll finally have a safe public viewing spot.
The full details regarding the screenings and gathering rules will be announced at a later time, the City said.