Montreal

What to you need to know if you're in Quebec City during the G7 summit

From school closures to protests to cures for tear gas, here are some tips to get you through the coming days, as world leaders and international delegates descend on the region.

From school closures to protests to cures for tear gas, here are some tips to get you through the coming days

Locals in Quebec City will be exposed to a heavy police presence during the G7 summit. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

World leaders and hundreds of international delegates are about to arrive in Quebec for the G7 summit, which opens on Friday in La Malbaie.

While the actual meetings will take place more than 140 kilometres from Quebec City, the main protests are expected to unfold in the streets of the provincial capital.

Here are some survival tips for the next few busy days.

Graffiti and stickers, like this one, began showing up on streets in the city's Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood in the weeks leading up to the G7. (Julia Page/CBC)

What will stay open in Quebec City?

Most municipal and public services will not be affected during the summit, including: 

  • City Hall.
  • Libraries.
  • Public transit.
  • Waste removal.
  • Hospitals, clinics.

If the situation changes and officials decide to close any buildings or cancel services, they will inform citizens on the city's website. Public health officials will also post updated information about any closures here.

Several businesses on rue Saint-Jean in Old Quebec have boarded up their windows in preparation for the protests. (Alexandra Duval/Radio-Canada)

What is closed?

  • Quebec's National Assembly (Thursday and Friday).
  • Several of the main government buildings downtown and in Old Quebec (Thursday and Friday).
  • Several public and private daycares in Old Quebec (Thursday and Friday).
  • Quebec City municipal court (Monday to Friday).

Certain elementary and high schools will also be closed, including:

  • Quebec High School.
  • St. Patrick's High School.
  • Collège François-de-Laval.
  • École Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
  • École des Berges.
  • École Anne-Hébert.
  • École Joseph-François-Perrault.
  • École Cardinal-Roy.
  • Centre Louis-Jolliet.

In the Quebec City borough of Beauport, the following places will also be closed Friday: 

  • Centre d'éducation des adultes (bâtiment du Nouvel-Horizon).
  • École secondaire Académie Sainte-Marie.
  • École primaire de l'Harmonie.
  • École primaire de la Pléiade​.
Quebec City police have closed off streets around the Convention Centre with concrete barriers. (Julia Page/CBC)

What about businesses?

Several private corporations, including Desjardins Financial Group and La Capitale Insurance, have decided to close their offices during the summit.

Small business owners in the downtown core can choose to close their doors. If they do, however, they will be ineligible to make an insurance claim through the G7's compensation program in the event that their property sustains any damage.

Merchants have also been warned to keep their doors closed and not to leave outside any sandwich boards or other signage, flower pots, or anything else that could be used as a projectile.

Several restaurants have closed their patios for the weekend.

The Fairmont Château Frontenac and its restaurants will be closed to visitors not staying at the hotel.

The Fairmont Château Frontenac and its restaurants will be closed to visitors not staying at the hotel. (Rebecca Martel/CBC)

Where are protests planned?

Several civil society groups have planned protests over the weekend.

On Thursday:

  • A march, organized by the Réseau de résistance anti-G7 (RRAG7), will leave from the Parc des Braves in Old Quebec and go toward Quebec City's Convention Centre.

Friday:

  • A "Day of Disruption," also planned by the RRAG7, will begin in the morning in Quebec City's Beauport neighbourhood, five kilometres east of downtown.

Saturday:

  • The Coalition pour un forum alternatif au G7 is organizing a full 12 hours of activities and an alternative forum, beginning at noon at the Fontaine de Tourny, in front of Quebec's National Assembly.
  • A march will depart from the Fontaine de Tourny, at 3 p.m.
Fifty-five civil society groups have signed on to take part in a protest on Thursday evening. (Facebook/RÉPAC)

What to do if you are affected by tear gas?

Tear gas is not toxic, but it may cause a burning feeling in your eyes, nose and mouth, skin irritation, and difficulty breathing, among other consequences.

If police use tear gas, people participating in the protests, and others who live nearby and are exposed to the gas, may be affected.

Public health authorities recommend:

  • Distance yourself from the crowd.
  • Don't crouch, as the gas is heavier than air and settles to the ground.
  • Don't touch your eyes.
  • Don't rinse your eyes with water, as this can worsen the effects of the gas.
  • Take off all contaminated clothing, place them in a closed plastic bag, and wash them in cold water.
  • Keep your windows closed if you smell the gas in the air; only reopen them once the gas has dissipated.
  • If your symptoms do not subside, contact Quebec's anti-poison hotline at 1-800-463-5060.

How to follow CBC's coverage of the G7

CBC reporters will be on the ground in Quebec City and La Malbaie from Thursday to Sunday.

Follow all the latest developments at cbc.ca/montreal, and on CBC Radio One and CBC Television.

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