Elected officials from L’Islet and Charlevoix say they share the concerns of public health, but do not hide their disappointment, and, for some, their incomprehension of still being in the red zone.
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As of Wednesday, there was no confirmed active case of COVID-19 either in the territory of L’Islet or Charlevoix.
“We have a funny way of rewarding the first class,” exclaims the mayor of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Normand Caron.
Mr. Caron and several of his counterparts wanted flexibility and treatment by sub-territory, and not by administrative region, but this hope is now very slim as Prime Minister François Legault announced on Tuesday that all regions currently in the red zone would remain so “for now”, with the exception of the Outaouais.
Don’t let your guard down
“Very disappointed”, the prefect of the MRC de L’Islet, René Laverdière, said nevertheless “understand” the government’s decision, because of the concern caused by more contagious variants of the coronavirus and by the delay in vaccination .
“I used to say to people all the time: be careful, as soon as things are going well, we will be the first to be deconfined. […] I’m afraid that membership [aux mesures sanitaires] falls at a given moment ”, raises Mr. Laverdière who nevertheless insists on the importance for citizens not to lower their guard at this time of the fight against the virus.
On the North Shore of the river, in the Capitale-Nationale, “it is not planned to make a distinction by sub-region”, confirms Dr André Dontigny, regional director of public health. The uncertainty surrounding variants has been a game-changer, he argues.
In an interview, he noted that “the situation is improving everywhere”, but that “the Charlevoix region is not permeable” and that we must therefore “continue to be extremely careful”.
The reopening of non-essential businesses and soon cinemas, swimming pools and arenas across Quebec, however, seems to have reduced tension in regions eager to be deconfined.
“I tell myself that as long as we make efforts, we might as well do more for two, three, a few weeks, the time to really understand this curve, that it flattens out, then that we do not miss our spring and our summer. The catastrophe would be to move forward and to be forced to retreat further. It would not be easy, ”remarks the mayor of La Malbaie, Michel Couturier.
“The signals we have are that we are approaching something, so we are ready to do a little more,” also considers Jean Fortin, mayor of Baie-Saint-Paul.