Quebec's health ministry acknowledged that "the first wave brought many more deaths than we thought because of the outbreaks in the CHSLDs."
"When you have outbreaks in there; because they're older patients you're obviously going to have more hospitalizations and more deaths," explained Dr. Labos.
According to data compiled by independent journalist Nora Loreto, at least two facilities in the Montreal area — the Centre d'hébergement Sainte-Dorothée and the Centre d'hébergement Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci — have seen over 100 resident deaths.
"If we had known how contagious the virus was, we could have banned visits to long-term care centres more quickly," the ministry said in a statement shared with MTL Blog.
"We would have issued stricter directives on the wearing of protective equipment in hospitals, long-term care centres, and RPAs [private senior's residences]."
What could have been done to prevent all these deaths?
"Early on in the pandemic, it was difficult to get testing [...] we had no effective treatments against this virus [...] it was just a bunch of things that sort of conspired that made it a difficult situation."
The ministry also points to a delay in the lockdown and the more long-term issue of staff vacancies.
"Visits to the living environment were late in being banned and the movement of staff to meet a need for manpower contributed to the spread of the virus," admitted the health ministry.
Quebec's Health Ministry, however, stopped short of laying all the responsibility on the health network and politicians that control the discourse, explaining that "it's also about people working together to implement health guidelines" — a common refrain in many of François Legault's press conferences.
"COVID's experience has taught us to act much more quickly in making decisions and to keep records of the decisions taken."
Quebec has recorded a total of 10,802 deaths as of April 18.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
While there's a myriad of possible reasons as to why Trudeau is ahead in the province, his handling of the pandemic could be the biggest. Among the Quebecers polled, 46% believed that health care is the most pressing issue in the upcoming election and 53% said the current prime minister "has performed well on pandemic management."
Politics and the Fourth Wave: As concern over COVID rises, are the Liberals poised to benefit?… https://t.co/znhujEMXZU
"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.