Residents of Low may be surprised to learn that their trip south to the pharmacy or grocery store in Wakefield could land them in two weeks of quarantine at home.
Low resident Bonnie James expressed her indignation about what she called a “gross violation of the freedom of Canadians” on her Facebook page this week. A version of her post appears in this issue on the Letters page. “People are living in a state of fear and anxiety in Low, due to the menacing police presence,” James wrote. And judging from the comment section, she’s not the only one in Low upset about the increased police activity in the area. Low municipal councillors Luc Thivierge, Ghyslain Robert, and Maureen Rice all weighed in. Thivierge said councillors are working to schedule a special meeting about this issue, while Robert said a firefighter was turned back when coming for a shift, and Rice wrote that James, who also sent her letter to the MRC La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau Prefect Chantal Lamarche, should prepare for a reply from the MRC in French. This reporter called Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Marc Tessier, who confirmed that officers who stop drivers travelling between regions and MRCs can order them into quarantine on a “case-by-case” basis. “The [Quebec] government said that when you leave your region and come back, you’re supposed to quarantine for 14 days,” Tessier explained. He said that doesn’t apply to people who have proof that they’re essential workers and who must travel to-and-from work, or to people who have medical appointments out of the region. It does apply to people travelling between regions to shop, he added, saying that each MRC should have all the services its citizens need, such as pharmacies and grocery stores, so people shouldn’t need to leave their region. An attempt to reach the MRC des Collines Police was unsuccessful by the press deadline.