#NewsMatters: The National Assembly Report
By Raquel Fletcher
COVID-19: An end in sight?
The Quebec government anticipates removing most COVID-19 health measures currently in place once 80 per cent of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated.
“When you add people between five and eleven years old, it changes the picture completely,” says Premier François Legault.
Health Canada approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric vaccine last Friday. Quebec will unveil its plans this week to give children one dose of the vaccine by Christmas.
Approximately 88 per cent of the current eligible population of people 12 years old and over are fully vaccinated in Quebec. This week, the province will open up bookings for people 70 and over, as well as people who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, to receive a third booster shot.
The pandemic and the flu
Health Minister Christian Dubé is encouraging Quebecers who want to get a flu shot this year to make an appointment as soon as possible.
Due to a lack of volunteers to administer flu and COVID-19 shots during the Christmas holidays, availability for appointments might be limited, he says.
“With influenza and with kids that we’re going to vaccinate very soon (for COVID-19), I can tell you that in December, I will not have as many vaccinators that we did at the height of the crisis this summer,” the minister told reporters at the National Assembly.
Deflecting blame at coroner’s inquest
A lawyer representing families of COVID-19 victims in Quebec long-term homes slammed former health minister Danielle McCann for deflecting blame at a coroner’s inquest looking into deaths during the first wave of the pandemic.
Last Thursday, McCann testified that the previous Liberal government cut hundreds of management positions in the province’s CHSLDs, leading to major communication breakdowns between the ministry and workers on the ground.
The families of victims are not satisfied with the minister’s testimony, said lawyer Patrick Martin-Menard, who represents the families of six victims. “It seems there is a shoveling of responsibility towards the establishments. And that is quite disturbing.”
The return of the Nordiques?
After announcing a plan to get more Quebec hockey players into the NHL, Premier François Legault says there might be a role for the government to play in bringing back the Nordiques to Quebec City.
The premier has already spoken to NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman. “I told him about our interest in a return of the Nordiques. He told me he was open to meeting with us,” Legault told reporters Friday.
He added that Finance Minister Eric Girard, still a fan of the Nordiques 25 years after the team moved to Colorado, would be speaking with possible investors, including Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau.
Last week, Legault announced former NHL player Marc Denis will head a committee to study why young people are less interested in hockey than previous generations and why fewer Quebecers are playing in the sport’s biggest league.
Raquel Fletcher is Global News’ National Assembly Reporter