Will Quebec's Curfew Be Extended? The Health Minister Says 'We'll See'

This one is scheduled to end January 17 – but the last one lasted much longer than initially suggested.

Staff Writer
Will Quebec's Curfew Be Extended? The Health Minister Says 'We'll See'

It's no secret that a lot of people are frustrated with the recent Quebec curfew – and though it is scheduled to end on January 17, precedent suggests that curfew deadlines don't really mean much to the provincial government.

During an interview on 98.5 FM on Monday morning, Health Minister Christian Dubé was asked whether the government is considering extending the curfew. For those hoping for an on-time end date, the answer didn't inspire confidence, to say the least.

"It’s January 10, we have a week to go," said Dubé. "We’ll reevaluate what we’re going to do for the 17th. We’ll see how things advance in the coming days."

Dubé made note of the increase in hospitalizations – the number went up another 118 yesterday, to 2,554, another record high for the entire pandemic.

Ouf. Whatever happens is up in the air, of course, but considering Quebec's recent record with curfews, perhaps you shouldn't be too optimistic.

If you remember back in January 2020, Quebec's curfew was only supposed to last for one month. Put in place on January 9, 2021, the first curfew was initially going to be lifted on February 8, 2021.

And then it got extended and moved around a dizzying number of times. At first it was from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., which then became 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Then it went back to 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Then we all gave up and all of a sudden it was May and Quebec was still under curfew.

Legault conveniently ended last year's curfew on his birthday weekend.

So, yeah, the best advice might be: don't hold your breath.

Legault Elaborated On The Quebec Tax For The Unvaccinated

The 600,000 unvaccinated people will receive a call from the government.

Premier François Legault recently announced that unvaccinated Quebecers are going to be charged a "significant" fee if they refuse to get at least their first dose in the next few weeks unless they have a medical reason not to.

On Sunday, January 16, Legault appeared on the Quebec TV show on Tout le monde en parle to discuss the new "health contribution" that non-vaccinated adults will be required to pay.

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The Latest Quebec Curfew Is Officially Over

But there's too much snow to go anywhere...

Rejoice! We can officially go on nightly walks again (if you can handle the cold) because Quebec's curfew was lifted as of Monday, January 17. That means no rushing to get home on time while risking fines.

During a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault said, "The reason we did this was to stop the exponential growth of the number of infections and then the number of hospitalizations. So given that we seem to have reached a peak, that permits us to remove the curfew."

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Quebec Bill 21 Won't Apply To Parents Who Volunteer In Schools & Wear Religious Symbols

Parents who supervise classes due to COVID-related staff shortages can wear hijabs, kippahs, crosses and turbans.

As a contingency plan to deal with a high number of staff shortages expected at schools in the coming weeks, Quebec's Ministry of Education has said parent volunteers might be asked to supervise classes if too many teachers get sick with COVID-19 and need to isolate. But, unlike teachers who are subject to Bill 21, volunteer parents can wear religious symbols in the classroom.

Quebec's controversial Bill 21, also known as Quebec's secularism law, prohibits public service workers — from police officers to teachers — from wearing hijabs, kippahs, crosses, turbans and other forms of religious symbols while at work. In fact, an elementary school teacher in Chelsea was removed from her position last month for wearing a hijab.

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On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?

Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.

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