Following Friday reports from La Presse and the Journal de Montréal that hackers had successfully accessed the QR code proof of vaccination of some elected leaders, including, according to the reports, those of Premier François Legault and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, Quebec's Ministry of Health (MSSS) put out a strongly-worded statement announcing that "formal complaints" have been made to police.
Health Minister Christian Dubé, whose QR code was also reportedly hacked, insisted on Twitter that the QR codes are secure.
Comme mentionné par @TresorQc @ericcaire, le code QR est sécuritaire. Le code QR et les renseignements personnels q… https://t.co/w7yL6kv6v5
"The QR code and the personal information it contains cannot be used without the consent of the individuals," Dubé wrote. "Violators are subject to civil/criminal prosecution." The ministry said authorities will investigate whether criminal charges should be laid after the hacking incident.
The MSSS further stated that the point of introducing the vaccine passport system, including the app VaxiCode, ahead of its September 1 launch was to identify "necessary adjustments."
"If improvements need to be made, they will be made," it wrote, also reiterating that the only information "contained in the QR code is the name, date of birth and list of vaccinations received" — information, the ministry said, the public already knows about for "well-known people" like the leaders whose codes were hacked.
Un amateurisme gênant et inquiétant.
Des gens ont trouvé une faille dans le système informatique du gouvernement et… https://t.co/AD1JCMM19G
— Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois (@Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois)
On Twitter, Québec Solidaire spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, whose QR code was also among those reportedly hacked, called the incident an "embarrassing and worrying amateurism" on the part of the government.
A collective of coffee shops and community organizers is inviting all cyclists to join them for a Montreal bike protest to celebrate the milestone of over one million cyclists on the Réseau Express Vélo (REV). The group is also calling on the city to keep the controversial REV paths on rue Bellechasse and expand the network even further.
"We are celebrating hundreds of lives protected, thousands of healthier people, tons of GHGs avoided, all those happy school children and all the happiness we have had in the last year!" event organizer Jacques Nacouzi exclaimed in a statement shared with MTL Blog.
Cyclists are asked to meet up at Carré Saint-Louis in the Plateau at 11 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, October 23.
From there, the protest will move north along the REV Saint-Denis before hitting the REV Bellechasse moving east. The protest will end when the group circles back to rue Saint-Denis.
With a mayoral election in Montreal just around the corner, cycling advocates are concerned about the REV Bellechasse.
The project has been criticized by Ensemble Montréal with Denis Coderre pledging to remove part of the bike path on Bellechasse to add more parking spots if he's elected.
The REV is a key accomplishment of Mayor Valérie Plante's administration.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Valérie Plante has big plans for downtown Montreal if she's reelected mayor and has outlined her party's ideas for the city's economic and social recovery after the pandemic.
From free parking to planting hundreds of thousands of trees, here's what her vision for the future of downtown Montreal looks like.
Her plan, self-described as "ambitious," aims to boost what she already says has been the "best economic recovery" in Canada post-pandemic.
But while the economic aspect of downtown is looking positive, "there is still work to be done to enhance our downtown area and make it more attractive to workers, businesses, tourists, and Montrealers from all over the island," according to her party.
If reelected mayor, Plante promises to:
"support the Palais des Congrès expansion project, and consequently the covering of a part of the Ville-Marie highway;"
"offer free parking downtown on evenings and weekends in December to support our merchants during the holiday season;"
"[accelerate] construction sites and [limit] potential nuisances;"
"support the redevelopment of large offices into adequate spaces to accommodate [small and medium enterprises] and start-ups;"
make "a $1 billion investment by 2030 to develop beautiful, large public plazas in downtown, redevelop key commercial arteries and create vibrant living environments;"
"green" downtown by planting 500,000 trees in four years;
and "facilitate the transformation of vacant office space into housing."
The Montreal municipal election is on November 6 and 7.*