Quebec opposition attacks on COVID-19 alert system and 'start of second wave'

The Quebec legislature is set to resume with a question period this afternoon, but the opposition parties came out swinging this morning, all on the same topic: their concerns about the province's colour-coded COVID-19 alert system.

"One of the ways the government can ensure that... there's not that sentiment of panic that's out there is by being very clear about what each of its colour codes mean," said Liberal MNA Andre Fortin.

The new map codes each part of the province as either green, yellow, orange or red as a way of telling people how serious the COVID-19 situation is locally and what level of restrictions to expect.

But the details aren't clear, said Fortin and others.

"For example, Montreal was green last week. Should Montreal have been green? Really?" said Fortin in a press conference.

"Maybe people still need to think about their actions. It could send the wrong signal to people by saying 'Well, you're in the green signal, everything's clear.'" 

Fortin also called Tuesday return to the National Assembly "the first day of the second wave,"

He invited Minister of Health Christian Dube to explain exactly what it means for a region to be green, yellow, orange or red. What is the criteria, he asked, that make us go from yellow to orange, for example, and what will that entail?

The Parti Quebecois added its own criticisms of the Legault government, with MNA Veronique Hivon pointing out that the Quebec government's self-determined alert threshold had been crossed.

Provincial authorities had originally said that 20 cases per million inhabitants would be "really worrisome," she said, and the province is now well past that.

"Now in some regions we are at 80 cases [per million people] and it still seems to be not that bad," she said, according to the government's messaging.

"I just want to reconcile what they say."

The Liberals also accused the CAQ government of poorly organizing COVID-19 screening, especially for schoolchildren, teachers and their families.

Watch the video above for Kelly Greig's full noon report from Quebec City.

--With files from The Canadian Press

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