Quebec Is Expanding The List Of Essential Services & Reopening Some Jobs

Legault specifically highlighted housing construction.
Quebec Is Expanding The List Of Essential Services & Reopening Some Jobs

The Quebec government will add some jobs to the list of essential services. Premier Legault announced these changes on Monday at his daily press briefing. "We have agreed, with both labour and management, to add a few jobs that will be reopened," he explained.

A complete list of the affected businesses is forthcoming, but the Premier specifically highlighted housing construction, though it's unclear to what extent.

The Journal de Montréal further reports that garages, landscaping and gardening services, and mining will be back in operation as of April 15.

It was especially important for the government to reinitiate residential construction, said Legault. "We do not want to add a housing crisis over the current crisis"

"We made sure, with public health, that all the protocols are in place to protect these employees — that they always stay two meters from each other, among other things."

These services will join dozens of others already on the list of enterprises that have remained in operation since the closure of non-essential businesses in March.

On April 5, the government extended these closures to May 4.

"It should be noted that all businesses can always engage in teleworking and e-commerce," the list of essential services explains.

Additionally, "businesses that provide non-essential services, excluding stores, can maintain minimal operations to ensure the resumption of their activities, bearing in mind the directives issued by public health authorities."

READ ALSO: The Sûreté du Québec Says You Should Even Avoid Car Rides Unless They're Essential

Many essential workers, meanwhile, are getting a temporary salary bump.

Those making less than $2,000/month can apply to receive a bonus of $1,600 over four months from the government.

Health care professionals working directly with infected individuals will also see an increase in pay.

Legault also hopes that salary increases, temporary as they are, will potentially attract more people to work in residential care facilities. 

As of April 13, Quebec has over 13,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

"I say to everyone: have courage, the beautiful days will return," assured Legault. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the ongoing health crisis in Quebec.