Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently said that he planned to sit down with Legault to discuss the next steps when it comes to his province potentially enforcing an overnight curfew in its latest attempt to curve the spread of COVID-19.
The executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association says he fears the measure could lead to overzealous ticketing and arbitrary police stops that have been shown in the past to excessively impact people who are Black, Indigenous, homeless or poor.
Police will be empowered to hand out fines of $1,000 to $6,000 to offenders who ignore the curfew, but essential workers, such as health-care workers and journalists, will be allowed out after 8 p.m.
Yesterday in an unprecedented move, Quebec Premiere François Legault announced he is putting the province in a strict lockdown which includes curfews.
Quebec reported 2,641 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
He said the small number of outbreaks in his industry - which employs about half a million people in Quebec - suggests the measures now in place are working.
Quebec has stopped kidney transplants at this time to free hospital staff to care for patients with the coronavirus, Dubé said. She said Quebec manufacturers lost $4 billion in sales when they were shut during the first wave of the pandemic and she expects a similar situation if manufacturers are forced to close again.
Quebec's INESSS institute, a government-mandated health-care think tank, warned on December 31 that hospitals in the Montreal area are likely to run out of dedicated COVID-19 beds within three weeks. The "partial measures" now in place in Quebec, she said, have had "no effect on the increasing trend of cases".
All restaurants and bars, gyms, casinos, museums and cinemas in Quebec will be closed from Saturday.
But while those measures slowed the spread of the virus, they didn't "render the curve flat", Sheppard said.
Speaking before Legault's news conference, Dr. Donald Sheppard, chair of the microbiology and immunology department at McGill University, said the government needed to explain the logic behind a curfew because the majority of outbreaks documented by public health have been in workplaces and schools.
The province of Québec is going under a province wide curfew.
Dubé, who accompanied Legault at his announcement on Wednesday, said that the increasing number of hospitalizations of patients being treated for COVID-19 is having an impact on the ability to provide non-COVID-19 health services.
Critics say the Legault government could have done more, sooner to avoid getting to this point.
Quebec has reported an average of 2,597 new cases a day over the past week, Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter Wednesday.
According to Global News, the caseload for the province stands at 217,999 - and accounts for more than one-third of Canada's COVID-19 infections. Health officials said they administered 9,960 doses of vaccine Wednesday, for a total of 48,632.