Montreal's mayor is as impatient for a reopening plan as the rest of us. She's calling on the Quebec government to get its business together to save the city's entertainment industry and lively spring and summer seasons.
In a February 6 Facebook post, Mayor Valérie Plante said the provincial government's "vagueness" around reopening rules and aid for the entertainment industry is "intolerable," suggesting the city stands to lose a competitive edge as other North American cities organize "cultural springs" this year.
Quebec government and public health officials have resisted calls to present a full reopening calendar.
Interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau said as late as February 2 that his team was still trying to weigh the risks and benefits of further COVID-19 measure relaxations.
Mayor Plante said the lack of clear guidance has been detrimental.
"For the past two years, the restaurant, hotel, business tourism and entertainment industries have been hit hard by the pandemic," she wrote on Facebook. "Their biggest challenge is the uncertainty they face."
The mayor specifically asked for clarity on rules for summer shows and events to allow organizers to begin planning ahead.
Quebec theatres and concert halls reopened at 50% capacity on February 7, but Plante said it's still unclear how the provincial government plans to compensate venues for resulting financial losses.
She suggested that the very soul of the city is at stake.
"When the needs of the cultural and event community are met, the heart of the metropolis beats. And when the city's heart beats, the economy of all of Quebec benefits," the mayor wrote on Facebook.
"Montreal is a city rich in events: tours, festivals, conventions and large-scale shows. For it to remain so, event organizers must have clear directions from the Quebec government and Public Health in order to plan for the full reopening of their activities."
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