Legault ‘would like’ bigger holiday gatherings, but will pay attention to public health

Opposition parties criticized Legault for sending mixed messages and raising the expectations of Quebecers for nothing.

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QUEBEC – Prime Minister François Legault has clarified his comments on the Christmas season, saying on Tuesday that he “would like” the limit on family reunions to be increased from 10 to 20 or 25, but will hear what public health decides in the coming days. .


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A day after opening the door to loosen restrictions despite the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus and warnings to avoid international travel, Legault defended himself, saying he was asked a question at a press conference in Charlevoix and answered it. .

It was a personal opinion, he said.

“If we can’t say what we think, we have a problem,” Legault told reporters. “What I did and said yesterday is that I personally hope that we can increase the number of people in the houses from 10 to 20 or 25.

“I hope so. But we will have recommendations from Dr. (Horacio) Arruda next week. Then I will follow Dr. Arruda’s recommendations.

“But the journalists asked me yesterday, ‘Personally, what do you think?’ Perhaps you shouldn’t answer these kinds of questions. So I am learning. Even after all these years, I still have a lot to learn. “


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Legault’s comments about raising the limit for family gatherings created confusion because they came just hours after Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, revealed that the province had identified its first case of the Omicron variant.

At the same press conference, Arruda and Health Minister Christian Dubé said Quebec would review the data and call for measures for the Christmas season next week, probably Monday.

On Tuesday, Quebec announced 784 new cases of COVID-19, three more deaths and an increase in the number of people in intensive care wards.

Hours earlier, opposition parties took turns criticizing Legault for his comments, accusing him of raising expectations for nothing, as he did at Christmas last year before being forced to back down.


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“I think Mr. Legault is playing a very dangerous game,” said Quebec Solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “At a time like this, politics should be behind science, not in front of science.”

“When Mr. Legault does that, it raises the hopes of many Quebecers, and those are legitimate hopes that I deeply share. Still, Quebecers are smart, they have learned to behave in the pandemic, they know how these things work now.

“We must respect their intelligence and be transparent, and follow the science, not try to impose the science politically with such frivolous statements.”

“I think it is another case in which the government should not play politics or generate expectations, but wait for science and disseminate (what science says) in a transparent way,” added Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre. Plamondon.


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“Once again, the demand of the PQ is: please follow the science and stop doing politics, because we know that politics will be wrong in terms of following what the science requires.”

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