Quebec to reopen museums, libraries & movie theatres May 29. The reopening is being implemented gradually
Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy announces that museum institutions, public libraries and movie theatres will be able to be reopened to the public everywhere in Quebec as of May 29 next, thus allowing the resumption of certain cultural activities in these places.
Note, however, that in public libraries, only book and document loan services will be available again. Access to departments and physical places remains prohibited, except for authorized personnel, until further notice. Visitors will only be able to circulate in the service counter area.
All establishments must comply with the health rules decreed by the public health authorities and the Commission for standards, equity, health and safety at work, as provided in particular by the Virtual Guide to Health Standards COVID-19 for museums and libraries .
“Quebec culture became a refuge for Quebecers during the pandemic: they were able to enjoy themselves and enrich themselves with the talent of our creators, while cultural activities and places were put on pause. With the reopening of museum institutions and public libraries, after that of bookshops, record stores and art galleries, we are today taking a new step in the gradual resumption of cultural activities.
It was essential to make these cultural places safe before citizens could once again have access to the works and talent of our creators. I have been working in this direction, with the community and the Department of Health and Social Services, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and we are continuing this collaboration so that the good days come back. “
The reopening is being implemented gradually to assess the impact on the progression of the coronavirus. Other announcements for the cultural community will be made in due course.
Museums and public libraries must put in place protective measures, both for their employees and for their visitors, which respect the protocol drawn up by the public health authorities and the Standards, Equity, Health Commission. and work safety.
Decisions related to the reopening of the various activity sectors are taken according to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, and that they can be revised at any time.
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Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father | saskNOW | Saskatchewan
Jul 10, 2020
LEVIS, Que. — Quebec provincial police say searches continued overnight after an Amber Alert was issued Thursday for two young girls and their 44-year-old father.
Police issued the alert at around 3 p.m. for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que., south of Quebec City.
Investigators believe the three were involved in a car crash and left the area on foot on Wednesday night in St-Apollinaire, Que., a suburb of Quebec City.
They say the trio is still believed to be in the area and appealed for residents to check their properties, including sheds and cottages.
Regional Chief Ghislain Picard: Oka Crisis still serves as a reference because nothing has changed
WENDAKE, QUE —
On the 30th anniversary of the start of the Oka Crisis, Assembly of Firest Nations Quebec-Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain Picard penned an open letter to Quebec Premier Francois Legault.
Below is the letter in full.
Thirty years ago, Quebec entered one of its worst human, social, and political crises. The climate of violence that we witnessed from July to the end of September 1990 had dramatic consequences, including the death of a serving police officer.
Although the Oka crisis has sadly left its indelible mark in our minds, it can still serve as a reference because nothing has really changed in thirty years. However, the social and political divide between First Nations and part of the Quebec population is the result of decades of injustice and forced measures. It is obvious that subjecting an entire population to such actions can only leave wounds that are still open today. Quebec is no exception in this regard; examples abound around the world.
The AFNQL is addressing you today, publicly, first to respectfully acknowledge the memory of the summer of 1990 and to share with you, as Premier of Quebec, ways to prevent history from repeating itself.
The COVID-19 pandemic, police misconduct of a racist nature, a sad thirtieth anniversary, it is in this sensitive context that the debate on racism and discrimination is resurfacing in Quebec, to which the systemic nature is added, whether we like it or not.
Systemic racism and discrimination are not just concepts or theoretical notions. Rather, they are a set of facts and behaviors and we should not be afraid to name and denounce them if we are genuinely willing to correct them.
From the point of view of the AFNQL, when a people denies the fundamental rights of another on the basis of its race, we are in the presence of racism. When this denial is formally and systematically exercised by a State, we are in the presence of systemic racism and discrimination. Again, let us not be afraid of words. They help us face reality.
We must be reminded that the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples more than ten years ago, with the aim of breaking with such behavior and proposing viable solutions to States to redefine their relations with Indigenous peoples on a respectful basis. Moreover, the Declaration called for minimal standards to ensure the survival, the dignity and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples. In our view, the political decisions that led to the Oka crisis are a perfect example of actions to be prohibited under the Declaration.
The lesson could easily have been learned.
Against all odds, through recent court actions, your government is today challenging the fundamental right of First Nations to be self-governing, our right to take charge of our own services for our families and children.
Must we remind the premier that denying our right to self-determination will only make us redouble our collective efforts to ensure that Indigenous peoples get the respect they deserve? Putting so much energy and resources into impeding First Nations’ desire to better serve their populations will only exacerbate systemic racism and discrimination.
It is difficult to be optimistic in the search for constructive solutions when the wounds of the relationship that should unite us are still contaminated by contempt.
We need to learn from the past and act to move in the right direction, one that will ensure that there is no turning back on mutually agreed principles. As leaders, we share the duty to find a path that is respectful and beneficial to our respective peoples. It is a matter, Mr. Premier, of willingness.
In Peace and Friendship,
Ghislain Picard, Chief from the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador
78 days of unrest and an unresolved land claim hundreds of years in the making
In 1990, the municipality of Oka, Que., planned to expand a golf course in a white pine forest claimed by its neighbours, the Mohawks of Kanesatake.
The ensuing conflict came to a head on July 11, 1990, when provincial police raided a protest camp in the Pines. Shots were exchanged. A police officer, Sûréte du Québec Cpl. Marcel Lemay was killed — sparking the 78-day standoff known as the Oka Crisis.
The disputed territory at Oka is a part of a 300-year-old land dispute over the seigneury of Lake of Two Mountains — a vast tract of land covering 400 square kilometres that includes prime agricultural farmland and the airport at Mirabel, Que. The land claim remains unsettled.
Here’s a look back at the key events of the standoff in the summer of 1990.
Mohawks tell Oka mayor, ‘This is our land’
April 1, 1989
Some 300 Kanesatake Mohawks march through Oka to protest against Mayor Jean Ouellette’s plan to expand the town’s golf course on land Mohawks claim is theirs. “I will occupy this land [if that’s] what it takes,” vows Grand Chief Clarence Simon, standing in the disputed clearing in the Pines. Ouellette calls on the federal government to settle the land ownership issue once and for all.
Occupation of the Pines begins
March 10, 1990
After Oka’s municipal council votes to proceed with the golf course expansion project, a small group of Mohawks drag a fishing shack into the Pines and block access to a snow-covered dirt road that runs through the clearing.
Oka seeks injunction to dismantle barricade
April 26, 1990
Mohawks increase surveillance in their protest camp in the disputed pine forest. Oka council responds with an injunction, demanding concrete blocks across a dirt road be removed. “We can’t stand by while public roads are blocked,” a town spokesperson says. “If I have to die for Mohawk territory, I will,” a protester says, adding this dire warning: “But I ain’t going alone.”
Warriors in the Pines
May 7, 1990
Masked and armed warriors appear in the Pines, sparking fear and anger in the town of Oka. “It’s an illegal occupation,” says Oka Coun. Gilles Landreville. The Kanesatake protesters deny the presence of the Mohawk Warrior Society.
July 4, 1990
After Oka serves Kanesatake’s band council with a second injunction on June 29, supporters and warriors from the neighbouring Mohawk communities of Kahnawake and Akwesasne arrive in the Pines to show their support for the protest camp.”We’re not going to allow them to take the barricade down,” says Mohawk artist and protester Ellen Gabriel.
Sam Elkas issues an ultimatum
July 5, 1990
Public Security Minister Sam Elkas gives the Mohawks four days to dismantle the barricade and the protest camp in the Pines or suffer the consequences. Two months earlier, on May 7, Elkas had vowed he would not send in the police “to play cowboys over the question of a golf course.”
Mohawks wait behind barbed wire
July 9, 1990
Another deadline to dismantle the barricade in the Pines passes without police intervention. The clearing looks increasingly like an armed camp: barbed wire goes up, warriors in battle fatigues cover their faces. Federal negotiator Yves Désilets shows up, however, the Mohawks in the camp harden their stance, demanding “nation-to-nation” talks directly with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
Oka Mayor Jean Ouellette demands police action
July 10, 1990
Oka Mayor Jean Ouellette makes a formal request to the Quebec provincial police, the Sûreté du Québec, to clear the barricade and stop the “criminal acts” in the Pines next to the golf course. “We are counting on you to settle this problem without any further delays or requests on our part,” he told police in a letter.
July 11, 1990
Provincial police stage a pre-dawn raid on the Mohawk barricade, releasing tear gas after Mohawks refuse to budge. CBC radio reporter Laurent Lavigne is live on air when he finds himself dodging bullets and coughing up tear gas in this dramatic report.
Botched police raid: SQ Corporal Marcel Lemay dies
July 11, 1990
Tear gas blows back at police, and an SQ officer is killed in the exchange of gunfire between the provincial police tactical intervention squad and Mohawk warriors. Police retreat, leaving behind cruisers and a bulldozer, used by Mohawk protesters to barricade Highway 344 through Kanesatake.
Kahnawake Mohawks block Mercier Bridge
July 11, 1990
Kahnawake Mohawk warriors block the Mercier bridge and all approaching highways in solidarity with Mohawks in Kanesatake.
Native Affairs Minister John Ciaccia arrives in the Pines
July 12, 1990
Quebec Native Affairs Minister John Ciaccia is escorted past the new barricade on Highway 344 in Oka/Kanesatake to attempt to negotiate dismantling the barricade in exchange for a police retreat.
Kahnawake food supplies dwindle
Day 2 of the Mohawk standoff, and already Kahnawake residents find themselves cut off, in retaliation for the Mercier bridge closure.
Tempers flare in Châteauguay
July 13-14, 1990
Furious Châteauguay residents attack Mohawks driving through town. “The warriors are all a bunch of damned terrorist!” proclaims one man. The next night, the first Mohawk effigy is lit ablaze.
Negotiations break down in Kanesatake
July 19, 1990
Eight days into the standoff, negotiations with Quebec Native Affairs Minister John Ciaccia stall. Indigenous Canadians are holding solidarity protests across the country. In Ottawa, Federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon — silent until now — commits to buy the disputed land at Oka but demands the barricades come down.
Bourassa calls in the army
Aug. 7-8. 1990
Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa invokes the National Defence Act, calling on the Canadian military to replace Quebec provincial police in Oka and Kahnawake. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appoints a special mediator, Quebec Chief Justice Alan Gold, to kickstart negotiations with the Kanesatake Mohawks.
Arrests on the Louis-de-Gonzague Bridge
Aug. 12, 1990
South Shore protesters clash with provincial police on the bridge near Valleyfield, the detour route for those cut off from Montreal. Their leader Yvon Poitras, a former SQ officer, is among those arrested. Meanwhile, in Kanesatake, federal negotiator and Quebec Chief Justice Alan Gold has arranged a ceremony to relaunch negotiations between Mohawks and government leaders, who are roundly condemned for signing a document in the presence of masked Mohawk warriors.
Van Doos arrive in Oka
Aug. 20, 1990
The Royal 22nd Regiment, stationed in the farming village of Saint-Benoît since Premier Bourassa called in the army, moves in hundreds of troops, enclosing the Mohawk community of Kanesatake from all sides.
Barricades come down on the Mercier Bridge
Aug. 29, 1990
Lieutenant-Colonel Robin Gagnon negotiated a “military-to-military” agreement with Mohawk warriors at Kahnawake to dismantle the barricades on the Mercier Bridge, a process that took eight days. On Sept. 6, the bridge reopened. By then, the final holdouts in Kanesatake were confined to the treatment centre, surrounded by razor wire.
The Canadian army moves into the Pines
Sept. 1, 1990
The Canadian army tightens the noose, closing in on the remaining Mohawk Warriors at the site of the original barricade in the Pines. A few dozen Mohawks retreat to a treatment centre across from the Pines, now surrounded by barbed wire.
After 78 days, the standoff ends
Sept. 26, 1990
After a 78-day impasse Oka Mohawk warriors abandon the barricades. Slowly individual /mohawk warriors come out of the forest. The army is unprepared for this last minute surrender.
Key warriors arraigned
Sept. 27, 1990
Ronald (Lasagna) Cross and another high-profile warrior, Gordon (Noriega) Lazore of Akwesasne, are arraigned in Saint-Jérôme the day after the last Mohawks ended their standoff. In all, about 150 Mohawks and 15 non-Mohawks were charged with various crimes. Most were granted bail, and most were acquitted. Cross and Lazore were held for nearly six months before being released on $50,000 bail. They were later convicted of assault and other charges.
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