2020: the East Coast's summer of sharks? Over the past few months, two sharks, by the names of Brunswick and Teazer, have been caught hanging out in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. And now, it seems as though they've got a new friend.
His name is Vimy. According to Ocearch, he swam his way into the Gulf of St. Lawrence at some point between August 25 and September 8, which is when he was last located.
Why You Need To Go: The island on the river near Quebec City is famous for its colonial villages, orchards, artist shops and views of the surrounding landscape.
The scenic Chemin Royal, which circles the island, takes about an hour to drive non-stop, but there are plenty of irresistible adventure opportunities along the way, like the Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans, which is scheduled to open in mid-June.
Distance from Montreal: Roughly 50 minutes to one hour and 20 minutes, depending on your starting point
Why You Need To Go: La route des vins in the MRC of Brome-Missisquoi in the Eastern Townships includes four different scenic routes passing a total of 20 vineyards and multiple restaurants, according to its website.
Distance from Montreal: Two hours (to the town centre)
Why You Need To Go: This little tourist destination has a lot going for it, including the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook with its 169-metre-long suspended footbridge and the enchanted Foresta Lumina light installation.
Not to mention that Coaticook is home to the famous Laiterie de Coaticook ice cream shop.
Why You Need To Go: This regional tourist hotspot at the tip of Lake Champlain has public beaches, a market and an art gallery all surrounding the Baie de Venise, which hosts water sports and boating activities.
Why You Need To Go: Another regional tourist spot, Magog has a lively downtown, hiking trails through the local Marais de la Rivière aux Cerises and, beginning in spring 2021, the new location of the super-popular Bleu Lavande lavender fields with their picturesque picnic spots.
Why You Need To Go: A little closer to home in Montreal's very own borough of Lachine, visitors can spend the whole day picnicking in the expansive Parc René-Lévesque with its whimsical sculpture garden and views of the river.
Peter St. Onge, Senior Fellow at the MEI, with Maria Lily Shaw, Economist at the MEI, published a report with Institut Economique de Montréal called "Second Time's the Harm: Repeated Lockdowns Risk Turning a Temporary Downturn into an Ongoing Depression" a day following the announcement.
Unemployment in Canada is at its "highest level since the Great Depression."
According to the report, at 13.7%, Canada is experiencing its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
It is estimated that 90% of businesses have experienced a devastating drop in revenue, at an average of 70%, and have cut their staff by at least half.
10% of businesses have had to let go of their entire team altogether.
A survey released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicated that 70% of small businesses were worried about the second wave and possible lockdowns. 56% of them stated uncertainty of their ability to survive.
Dan Kelly, CFIB president, says that he received over 60,000 calls from business owners, with some expressing their fear of suicidal ideation should their business have to fold.
Overall, studies have shown that Canadians, in general, are feeling pessimistic about the state of the economy and don't see the end of this Depression-like period coming any time soon.
Extended lockdowns allegedly have a number of "dangers."
The report explains that economic analysis suggests that continuous and repeated lockdowns actually do more harm than good, despite the intention of using them to "save" these small businesses.
We're told that a one-time lockdown causes damage to overall wealth, but economic incentives remain high. However, ongoing or repeated lockdowns, even if with just a few restrictions, lead to small businesses operating with a sense of looming disaster, the report reveals.
In fact, St. Onge compares the state of small businesses across the country to a natural disaster and explains that the longer these lockdowns persist, the more impactful their damage.
The report doubts that lockdowns have many benefits in the long run.
Citing a study by Dominik A. Moser et al, St. Onge suggests that these lockdowns, despite trying to save people from dying of COVID-19, may actually be killing more people, due to the lockdowns' impact on substance abuse, overdose and suicide, among others. The report refers to this as the "disease of despair."
"We have long known that mass unemployment and poverty kill, and we should not lose sight of this when it comes to dealing with COVID-19," says St. Onge.
The researchers bring up the fact that Canadians have never experienced a lockdown of this size, so it is unknown the exact outcome of what it can do to the economy. However, over seven decades of empirical research into economic theory allow academics to say, with assurance, that lockdowns of any size can have significant negative effects on the economy and on society.
St. Onge finishes the report by posing the idea of ending lockdowns overall and, instead, putting resources to protecting vulnerable populations from the virus and from "costly and counterproductive policies."