Gatineau council commemorates COVID-19 victims
On March 11, Gatineau’s elected officials gathered at the Maison du Citoyen in Hull, where flags were held at half-mast, to hold a minute of silence to commemorate COVID-19 victims and their families. Held at the one-year point of the pandemic’s genesis, the ceremony was initiated by the Quebec government, according to a press release issued by the city on the same date.
Considering the difficulty of the pandemic on people – notably making them unable to hold gatherings with loved ones - Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau highlighted the importance of honouring the victims and supporting their families at this time. “For many, these have been difficult times,” Bureau said. “Some people have lost a loved one and couldn’t even hold a funeral. So, it’s time to think of all those people.” She also emphasized that people need to keep recognizing the importance of the contributions from essential workers throughout the pandemic - notably from employees in the health care sector and school teachers.
Plateau district councillor Maude Marquis-Bissonnette expressed her sympathies on social media before the ceremony, reminding people of the importance of remembering the people who lost their lives to COVID-19, showing compassion to their families, and gratitude for frontline workers. “On March 11, we remember,” Marquis-Bissonnette said on Facebook.
Deschênes district councillor Mike Duggan echoed similar sentiments, also extending condolences to the victims’ families. “It’s terrible,” Duggan said.
Hoping for society to have “learned lessons from the past year”, Duggan emphasized the importance of investing more resources towards improving safety measures in healthcare establishments – notably long-term care facilities – to be better prepared if another health crisis arises. “We all had to suffer the results of bad planning,” Duggan said. “So, let’s plan our healthcare services and our long-term care facilities better, so that if we do have another pandemic, we don’t all suffer, and destroy the economy, destroy jobs, so we can navigate it and come out in one piece.”