COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know on Saturday

Advocates are decrying Montreal police practices during the pandemic, saying that issuing tickets to homeless people who can't pay them is ineffective and further marginalizes vulnerable people in the midst of this health crisis.

An Anishinaabe outreach worker in Montreal was ticketed $1,500 while on the job

Montreal parks have been busier than ever as warm, sunny weather settles on southern Quebec and the provincial government begins loosening public health restrictions. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

  • Quebec has 46,838 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 3,940 people have died. That is an increase of 697 cases and 75 deaths from a day earlier.
  • There are 1,452 people in hospital (a decrease of 27), including 167 in intensive care (a decrease of four). Here's a guide to the numbers.
  • Small outdoor gatherings are now allowed.
  • Retail stores with direct outdoor access in the Montreal area will reopen on Monday.
  • Museums, libraries and drive-ins in Quebec can reopen May 29.
  • You can find out where Montreal's mobile testing sites are here.

Advocates say Montreal police have been unfairly ticketing homeless people and the support workers helping them and are calling for a moratorium on fines given to people living in the street. 

In one case, Lyn Black, an Anishinaabe outreach worker in Montreal, was fined $1,500 while handing out her card to a person in distress and a mask to another. 

Under the public health emergency decree that's in effect, police have the power to ticket anyone not observing the directives to stay two metres away from others in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But advocates say issuing tickets to homeless people who can't pay them is ineffective and further marginalizes vulnerable people during a health crisis.

Protesters want asylum seekers to get permanent residency

A group of advocates for asylum seekers held a demonstration outside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Montreal riding office Saturday, calling for his government to grant permanent residency to those who are already in the country and working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec.

The crisis has shone a light on the crucial role asylum seekers and others with precarious status play in the province's economy, with thousands working as patient attendants in long-term care homes and filling other essential jobs. 

Will Montrealers have a terrasse season?

In usual times, terrasse season would be in full swing in Montreal by now — and though several measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are being relaxed, restaurants are waiting to hear just how they can go about serving people outside safely. 

The City of Montreal has said it would allow for larger terrasses this year to accommodate physical distancing. 

Restaurants, though, are still waiting to know when they will be allowed to reopen and have been requesting a timeline for how and when that could happen. 

A salute from veterans

They came roaring up on motorcycles, most wearing leather vests emblazoned with the Royal 22nd Regiment logo and the motto Je me souviens.

Veterans of the legendary Van Doos regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces visited three Montreal long-term care homes on Saturday, to say thank you to the soldiers deployed there and the health-care workers on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.

Watch | Veterans salute soldiers deployed to CHSLDs

Veterans salute soldiers deployed to CHSLDs

1 year ago
About 40 veterans rode by car and motorcycle to three long-term care homes in Montreal to show their support for the soldiers working in the facilities that are dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19. 0:48

Other info you should know

An inmate at Montreal's Bordeaux jail died this week of COVID-19, prompting calls from advocates for better treatment of detainees.

A Radio-Canada report outlines the conditions symptomatic inmates have been living in, including being put in solitary confinement without access to a change of clothes or shower.

And the NHL is one step closer to returning. The NHL Players' Association announced late Friday its executive board has authorized "further negotiations" on a 24-team playoff format — and the Canadiens would make the cut.

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