Letter to the Editor

Re: Quebec Government's Latest Order-in-Council

The Quebec government's new Order-in-Council which it claims it is imposing to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec uses police measures to guarantee enforcement while the government continues to ignore the role of the working people and youth in providing what is required.

The situation is becoming more serious and people want clear guidelines based on ensuring that all efforts are a contribution to keeping the pandemic in check. This is the responsibility of the government authorities and it is precisely what they are reluctant to do. Instead, now the government has issued another decree and fines for non-compliance. But the emphasis on police measures sidelines all those in health care and other sectors who have been demanding measures consistent with the conditions and have been organizing since the pandemic began. As well, the youth are considered a problem instead of a major part of the solution.

For weeks since the re-opening of schools and bars and other places where people gather socially, the official line has been to "wait and see." Now that the pandemic is again out of control, Orders-in-Council, Ministerial Orders and other special powers are being used to attack the working conditions of frontline health care workers, teachers and others. Authorities must provide all the information people need, and especially those on the front lines, to become conscious participants in keeping the pandemic in check.

On a related matter, many people are now finding out the hard way that with the backlog in the hospitals and clinics, they are offered a "choice" -- they can either wait for an opening in the public system or pay a private agency to put their name on a waiting list, something all recent governments said they would never do. And it is done in the most dishonest manner.

Callers are sent to a website which operates like a scam. First, all their personal information is required and then they find that the service costs $18.95. If they agree to proceed, they are told that besides the $18.95, they will have to become a member which costs $5.95/month, for "starters," and $12.95 for a "family." If you click on that option, what charges will follow is unknown. 

Santé-Québec (Info-Sante 811), says this method is "one of the solutions" because in this crisis "all available help should be used."

If the government of Quebec really had the well-being of the people as its priority in this pandemic, it would have outlawed such practices a long time ago. "External services" should only be authorized if they serve the health needs of the people without the payment of fees. More importantly, if more investments were made to social programs, these private services would have no role to play. Why are governments not fined when they pay the rich to run these services?


A Reader in Ste. Rose, Quebec

This article was published in

Volume 50 Number 38 - October 10, 2020

Article Link:
Letter to the Editor: Re: Quebec Government's Latest Order-in-Council


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