Quebec tables bill to end state of emergency for COVID-19 |

Quebec Well being Minister Christian Dubé has tabled a invoice to place an finish to the province’s state of emergency to take care of the COVID-19 well being disaster.

“The tabling of this invoice is according to the lifting of most sanitary measures,” Dubé advised reporters in Quebec Metropolis.

The proposed laws was introduced in nationwide meeting Wednesday morning. As soon as the well being emergency order ends then particular measures just like the vaccine passport can’t be introduced again, he mentioned.

Dubé defined public well being officers might suggest sure measures, however they might not be necessary until one other well being emergency was declared.

“To result in populational measures — people who limit folks — it takes a well being emergency,” he mentioned, including that the federal government doesn’t intend to go that route.

The invoice comes as opposition events and different organizations have repeatedly known as on the federal government relinquish its extraordinary powers.

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These powers embrace circumventing collective agreements within the well being community and awarding contracts with no name for tenders.

Learn extra:

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The Quebec authorities first declared a state of emergency in March 2020, when the pandemic was declared. It has been renewed each 10 days since then — greater than 100 occasions to this point.

“We’ve wished to finish the state of well being emergency for a very long time,” Dubé mentioned. “However, sadly, with what occurred with the Omicron wave, we needed to postpone that call.”

Invoice 28 does, nevertheless, suggest giving the federal government some leeway even when the state of emergency is over. Amongst different provisions, this consists of permitting some contracts given throughout that point to be prolonged as much as 5 years.

It additionally states that measures adopted by authorities decree which can be in place on the finish of the state of well being emergency will stay in drive till Dec. 31, however the authorities can chill out or repeal them by decree.

Dubé mentioned the invoice will delay using telemedicine till the top of the 12 months, preserve the province’s on-line portal for volunteers and permit a wider vary of well being professionals to proceed administering vaccines. It’ll additionally permit the province to maintain the choice of distance studying at faculties and make it simpler to rehire retired lecturers.

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The well being minister defended the federal government’s choice to retain some measures, particularly relating to extending contracts.

“That is simply sensible,” he mentioned. “It’s an operational difficulty. We want these contracts to be versatile.”

Dubé mentioned the province must “stay agile” if COVID-19 indicators start to rise once more within the coming months.

“I do know folks don’t wish to hear about it, however there could also be a sixth wave,” he mentioned.

Public well being officers in Quebec are carefully monitoring an uptick in infections in Europe, he added. The potential of a sixth wave of the pandemic is one thing that the federal government “can handle proper now.”

Opposition events slam invoice

The long-awaited invoice should be studied by a parliamentary committee earlier than it’s adopted however opposition events have been unimpressed.

Quebec Liberal Occasion Chief Dominique known as the invoice a “masquerade.”

“To me it certain sounds and appears like they wish to hold all of the management till the top, till the top of December 2022,” she mentioned.

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Vincent Marissal, well being critic with Québec solidaire, mentioned the proposed laws is akin to the federal government “holding all of the instruments it has invented and has taken during the last two years.”

“We’re nonetheless on this absurd state of affairs,” he advised reporters, including that powers are “concentrated within the arms of some only a few folks.”

— with information from World Information’ Gloria Henriquez and The Canadian Press

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