Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you make the most of staying home.
Visit the hub

Quebec Deputy Premier and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault responds to a question during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Quebec City, on May 20, 2020.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

As Quebec continued to slowly reopen Wednesday after weeks of pandemic-induced shutdowns, members of the Mohawk community of Kanesatake outside Montreal demanded that authorities slow down.

Mohawks were preventing access to Oka provincial park, which was scheduled to partly reopen Wednesday morning, according to Oka Mayor Pascal Quevillon.

He said members of the adjacent First Nations community began blocking access around 8:30 a.m., adding provincial police weren’t doing anything about the blockade.

Story continues below advertisement

“I asked Premier François Legault to ask the Sûreté du Québec to intervene,” Mr. Quevillon said in an interview.

Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon sent a letter earlier in the week to Mr. Legault, urging him to keep the park closed until his community is consulted.

Mr. Simon’s letter said that “even if all proper precautions are taken, the risks of community spread in our area are too high.” He insisted that the park and a ferry to the region remain closed “until we are consulted on any reopening of tourist services that may affect the health of our region.”

Deputy premier and Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault told reporters Wednesday that members of the cabinet were in discussions with Mr. Simon and with local public-health officials. Mr. Simon was not immediately available for comment.

“We understand that there are concerns in various places in Quebec, but especially in that area, about the deconfinement,” Ms. Guilbault said. “We have to try to see how we can reassure them, and how we can come to a solution,” adding that prohibiting access to the park is not the answer.“

The people in Kanesatake and in the adjacent town of Oka usually live peacefully side by side but flare-ups have occurred over the years, often because of land disputes. Mr. Simon and Mr. Quevillon got into a public spat last summer, when a developer wanted to donate land to the Mohawks.

Also Wednesday, Quebec announced that limited outdoor gatherings will be permitted starting Friday as the province continues to record a downward trend of new COVID-19 cases.

Story continues below advertisement

Authorities also announced private health care providers across the province can begin operating again June 1. Those providers include dentists, physiotherapists, massage therapists, optometrists and several others. Also allowed to open June 1 are centres for animal grooming.

Outside the Greater Montreal Area and the region around the City of Joliette, hair salons and other personal care businesses such as tattoo parlours can open June 1. The government still hasn’t set a date to reopen those services in the Montreal and Joliette regions.

Starting Friday, Quebeckers will be allowed to play host to outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, from a maximum of three families, as long as they keep a two-metre distance from one another. The province, however, had already authorized people to be outside together as long as they kept a two-metre distance.

Ms. Guilbault said authorities wanted to be more clear with Wednesday’s announcement. She said authorities had been telling people to avoid outdoor gatherings in private settings as much as possible. But as the springtime weather improved, she said, people began increasingly meeting outside.

“So, we’re saying: Perfect, we have to be realistic. People are fed up, people want to see each other, they are getting bored. It’s nice out, it’s getting hot. We want people to get together, but now we are announcing clear rules.”

The province is starting to ease restrictions as the number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decrease. Quebec recorded 71 new deaths from COVID-19, for a total of 3,718, and the number of total cases increased by 578 to 44,775. A total of 12,822 people are classified as recovered.

Story continues below advertisement

But Quebec also recorded the first death among its provincial prison population. A Quebec civil liberties group, the Ligue des droits et libertés, said in a statement Wednesday the 72-year-old inmate’s death could have been prevented if authorities had reduced the number of seniors detained in provincial jails.

Ms. Guilbault said about 2 per cent of Quebec’s inmate population has become infected with the virus, including about 60 people at the detention centre in Montreal that housed the inmate who died.

“Despite the impossibility of avoiding any cases of COVID [in provincial jails],” she said, “I consider that, in general, it is going relatively well in the prison network.”

Quebecers will be allowed to host outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, from a maximum of three families, as long as they keep a two-metre distance from one another. Private health care centres such as dentist offices across the province – and hair salons outside the Montreal and Joliette regions – can reopen on June 1. The Canadian Press

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies