Western Quebec pubs applaud province’s COVID-19 crackdown


Some pubs in western Quebec applaud the government’s decision to crack down on establishments that do not comply with COVID-19 prevention rules.On Friday, the Quebec government announced it would conduct a blitz campaign targeting more than 1,000 establishments in “yellow zones” across the province.

These areas, which include the Outaouais, are regions now on alert after recent outbreaks of the virus. As part of the blitz, police would check to see if establishments are serving after midnight – which is currently not allowed – and break other COVID-19 rules.

“I actually think that’s a good thing,” said Manuela Teixeira, who runs the Chelsea Pub and Biscotti & Cie in Chelsea, Que., About 15 kilometers northwest of downtown Ottawa.

Teixeira said police showed up at both of her establishments on the weekend, checking things like wearing an appropriate mask and hand sanitizing and whether tables were properly spaced.

Manuela Teixeira owns several businesses in Chelsea, Quebec, and is all for the additional police presence. (Krystalle Ramlakhan / CBC)

“We are all in the same boat. We need to put measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety. And that way maybe we can stay open, ”she said.

Teixeira also urged all establishments that break the rules to start doing so.

“I can understand that the economic pressure has been enormous on them. So I can totally understand that. But at the same time, it’s not going to get better if there is an epidemic, ”Teixeira said.

Trying to survive the winter

The Gatineau Police Department told Radio-Canada it had five teams on patrol Friday night, but did not say whether tickets had been issued.

The MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais police were also on patrol and said their officers did not coerce anyone.

At the 5th Baron brewery in the Aylmer sector in Gatineau, co-owner Jacob Barrett said he had not received a visit on Saturday afternoon.

He said they were ready for one, however, with all of their COVID-19 measures in place.

Jacob Barrett, co-owner of the 5th Baron Brewery in Gatineau, Que., Says everyone must follow the COVID-19 rules so establishments can stay open. (submitted by Jacob Barrett)

“We are aware that a second wave is very possible. So yes, our business is important to us, but so is the safety of all of our customers and bosses. So we agree, ”Barrett said.

Barrett said he understood the blow to the restaurant industry from the pandemic, adding that he was trying to get the city of Gatineau to allow fireplaces on patios to help businesses get through the winter.

Lobbying for these measures will get better, he said, if everyone obeys the rules.

“We try to implement a security policy first, and we hope that everyone will follow. Everyone will lose if we have a second wave – customers will lose, businesses will lose. ”

A full report of the blitz is expected Monday.


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