Ontario govt. data shows Quebec’s 4-month closure of restaurants and gyms is not backed by science

On October 1st, Quebec went into a second lockdown with the full closure of dine-in restaurants, gyms, and a full-stop on team sports. New data from the Ontario government shows these measures are not backed by science.

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The closure of restaurants and gyms has been effective since October 1st and is expected to last until at least January 11. If the Quebec government acts as usual, it will simply push back yet again the reopening date to February and beyond. 

Data from the Ontario government, compiled by Westphalian Times shows that out of the 26,289 cases accounted for on the government’s “Cases by outbreak setting” database, only 1.354% of cases came from bars, restaurants, and nightclubs and only 1.309% came from recreational fitness. Keep in mind the first figure (1.354%) includes nightclubs so the actual figure for restaurants only should be substantially lower. 

Alberta which is currently having a higher per capita outbreak than Quebec has kept its restaurants open for family dining. Their statistics report that 0.7% of identifiable transmission has occurred in restaurants and similar businesses.

The same data is unavailable from the Quebec government who has maintained a very opaque information policy. There is no reason to believe the numbers would be substantially different in Quebec.

This means that the Quebec government has condemned a large part of its economy (restaurants, personal fitness centers) for less than 2.7% of total outbreaks. 

A group of Quebec entrepreneurs has recently announced their intention of taking the Quebec government to court. 

“we have taken the decision to bring this matter to court and challenge these measures in the hopes of obtaining the nullity of the decrees declaring the health emergency in Quebec. In particular, putting this action forward, is a request to the provincial government in providing a scientific basis on which it has been relying on in taking its decisions for these measures in question, that have directly brought negative impact to the physical and mental health, as well as the wellbeing of millions of Quebecers and our economy.”

Entrepreneurs en Action du Québec wrote on their GoFundMe page.

The Entrepreneurs en Action du Québec has raised over $81,000 on GoFundMe to support their legal effort. 

Hundreds of restaurant and gym owners have come out publicly against the decision of premier Legault to keep their business closed for over three months during the second wave while providing very little scientific evidence to justify the measure. 

“I think that the closure of restaurants and gyms is a clever political calculation by Legault. They have chosen an industry that is poorly represented in terms of lobbyists with limited means of pressure. 

So there’s very little rebellion and political turmoil to give people the impression that they are doing something concrete against the pandemic. 

It’s easier to do that than to look in the mirror and admit that the disastrous COVID-19 deaths took place mostly in government-controlled places (schools, old people’s homes, hospitals, etc).”

Laurent L-Proulx, owner of multiple restaurants told Westphalian Times.

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