However, at approximately 3 p.m. on May 19, the park decided to enforce its beach closure protocol because many visitors failed to heed the warnings of beach staff.
"Not only during the closure, but also during the warnings, there was a lot of unacceptable rudeness and verbal abuse towards our employees from visitors who were not respectful of the rules," said Boivin.
Employees formed a squad and swept the beach with megaphones to ask visitors to leave the premises, and Sûreté du Québec police were also called in, he told Narcity.
According to Boivin, prior to the pandemic, the beach could accommodate up to 5,000 people — but with new occupancy limits in place, it can now accommodate 2,500 people.
The capacity was reportedly further reduced by management to 1,500.
Boivin said that Oka National Park doesn't want to be "the scene of an outbreak that could come and ruin the efforts of so many people over the last few months."
No updates for Victoria Day long weekend
For Victoria Day long weekend, from May 21 to 24, Boivin said the situation would be analyzed "day by day."
"It's not so much the space to respect the distance that is missing, it's the will to respect it. So, we will adjust to the collaboration of people. "
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
"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.
The Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) put an end to the project due to the findings of a report analyzing the environmental impact of building a natural gas facility in Saguenay.
What was the LNG project?
Énergie Saguenay wanted approval to construct a natural gas processing facility that would "liquefy natural gas in order to export it to world markets," according to its website. In addition to the facility, the idea was to construct an LNG pipeline that would cross into Northern Ontario.
The company said the project's aim is to "support efforts to fight climate change in Europe, Asia and elsewhere in the world, by providing transitional energy that will replace other more polluting energies, such as coal and fuel oil."
Quebec Premier François Legault was reportedly in favour of the project but was met with pushback from environmental and Indigenous groups.
In September 2020, the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) began a public hearing as part of its systematic review of the project in consultation with the Innu communities of Mashteuiatsh and Essipit.
Why did Quebec cancel the project?
On July 21, the MELCC announced that the Quebec government had decided not to authorize the project.
It cited the results of BAPE's environmental impact report, which found that the LNG project in Saguenay "could have the long-term consequence of slowing down the energy transition of the project client countries."
In addition, the government established that there was no way the project could "count on a net reduction in [greenhouse gas] emissions on a global scale, since the project initiator cannot guarantee the use of liquefied natural gas as an alternative to sources that emit more GHG, such as coal and fuel oil."
The project's own GHG reduction measures were also found insufficient to offset its own emissions.
"We had to face the facts that the risks of the Énergie Saguenay project outweighed its benefits," said Benoit Charette, Quebec's minister of the environment and the fight against climate change.
"However, we are optimistic that the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region will quickly have the opportunity to enrich itself with other economic projects, such as the Élysis green aluminum project, which will create jobs while actively participating in the Quebec-wide fight against climate change."