● Gatineau Park reopens today, but only for Quebecers.
Last week the NCC announced that it would be reopening the Gatineau Park to pedestrians and cyclists on Saturday, May 9, 2020. The park had been closed since March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial media reports quoted the NCC as saying that the park would be reopened for “users who can access the park on foot or by bike.” Simple enough; if you’re on a bike, you can go in. As an added bonus, the park’s road were going to be car free. All this was great news for the huge number of local cyclist who like to use the Gatineau Park for training rides.
But it’s not going to be that simple. Within a day of the initial announcement, there was a slight shift in the message, and it became that the park would only be open to Quebecers who can reach it by bike or foot.
The NCC claims that it arrived at this decision with the support of the municipalities surrounding the Gatineau Park. This seems to suggest that these municipalities are saying that we agree the park should reopen, but only for us, and not for anyone else. Hardly a position devoid of self-interest.
In defending its decision about allowing only Quebecers into the park, the NCC claims its hands are tied because the local Quebec border is, for the most part, closed to people coming in from Ontario. But the NCC’s decision reinforces Quebec’s efforts to keep its border largely closed to Ontarians. It gives police at border check points added grounds for turning around Ottawa cyclists who may be heading to the Gatineau Park.
This issue also raises the larger question of why is Quebec basically keeping its border closed to people from Ontario. As of today Quebec has started to dismantle its internal travel restrictions, and police check points are coming down across the province. The one exception is the border in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. The restrictions here are going to stay in place until further notice, or indefinitely.
The mayor of Gatineau used the emotive argument that if it saves just one grandmother, he supports keeping the border restrictions in place. He also says people on his side of the border have to protect themselves because Ottawa is a “hot zone” for COVID -19, while the Outaouais is a “cold zone”.
It’s very misleading to label Ottawa in this manner, which evokes images of what happened in northern Italy and New York City. First of all, Ottawa is no where close to being overwhelmed by COVID-19. Moreover, at the provincial level, there are far more cases of COVID-19 in Quebec than Ontario, especially on a per capita basis. While it is true that proportionally, there are more cases in Ottawa than Gatineau, the difference hardly warrants the type of labeling used by Gatineau’s mayor.
Quebec’s decision to maintain restrictions on travel from Ottawa to Gatineau it starting to annoy quite a few people, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. He has made his frustrations with the situation known to Gatineau’s mayor, but he quite rightly resisted the idea of using police check points to restrict the travel of Quebecers into Ottawa.
How all of this plays out remains to be seen. However, it likely means that the Gatineau Park will officially be off limits for Ottawa cyclists for the foreseeable future.
on a side note, I want to know what happened here:
I really question why no action was taken here:
and what happened here? we’ll probably never know.
Wuhan people asking questions why late response…
so, will we ever know… probably not – lots of billionaires there and corporate america in bed with them (the dictatorship).
So will the border come down, hmmmm… lots of over time being made there I suspect. When something doesn’t make sense, it probably has to do with the almighty buck.
As the old saying goes: In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
but, now is the time to buy stocks though, huge money to be made from it all – Buy when fear is in the air, sell when greed has none to spare.
oil low as well, so economy will boom.
“This issue also raises the larger question of why is Quebec basically keeping its border closed to people from Ontario. As of today Quebec has started to dismantle its internal travel restrictions, and police check points are coming down across the province. The one exception is the border in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. The restrictions here are going to stay in place until further notice, or indefinitely.”
not sure of the reason why the border check isn’t coming down, but I can say after 9-11 (worked big defence and big policing) we did our best to prop up budgets with fear mongering spending money foolishly so we’d get more money each year afterwards. I left that domain for it was too scuzzy for my liking. But, I was just talking to someone still there they said the dept I was in grew tremendously and continues to grow… yet the threat of terrorism is like get hit by lightening.
I suspect the same may happen here as patrols will be out looking for this scoundrel (the virus) … wanting to track cell phones etc… empires are born on a mess.
this is such a shiiit show…
park not open to avoid crowds, yah I get that. But, they you can go to the LCBO and SAQ- stand in line and possibly get the virus on a bottle, box, money/atm etc… out of all the years (30 now) I’ve been using the park most people give room. There are a few (5% lets say) that don’t… they use the whole pathway. Hopefully they consider others.
Then comes the bridge crossing between que-ont. I was watching it:
– a city bus passed by, could the culprit (virus) be hiding there… they don’t check the city bus
– a canada post delivery truck went by could it be on a piece of mail they say this lives on packages around 24hrs
– a frozen food truck went by, could it be hidden away on a box for a long long time?
all the cops and patrolling ain’t going to solve this issue – its being self aware of one’s actions that will mitigate the risks. They say we touch our face unconsciously 20 times an hour. And, this thing lives on surfaces for over 24hrs (cardboard). Then it hits senior homes like wild fire – I know someone who’s daughter works at a grocery store (shes a biomed student) and son at a senior’s home – I said, do you think there could be cross contamination in your house or vehicle which they share? this guy who works at agcan mitigating risks on farms infected by viruses said – he doesn’t care… the kids gotta work. Yah, but you’re putting the most vulnerable at risk. He didn’t care. I know someone else who is a PSW at a senior’s home she doesn’t believe in social distancing. oh my…
this thing will survive for some time. Its not people that are in the parks that will keep this alive but the carelessness of workers in our food supply chain and senior homes I suspect…
let people get outside and keep fit – mentally and physically for if they do get this thing (the virus)they have to be able to fight it off. They say 85% of people won’t require hospitalization but around 10% or so will with a 3.5% kill rate (SARS was at 10% and MERs at 35% we put those fires out quickly and WHO put out ebola recently in the congo as they reported it early… )
end summary – no one eats bats after this, never! send that person the bar tab for this mess!!! and a mess it is exposes our vulnerabilities and dependencies. If you ever wanted to take down a democracy, this is one way to do it..
also, create article here…https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-archives-photos-cycling-1.5555906
should be great, not create..ll
thanks Mike for the article. So why isn’t Ottawa restricting Quebec travellers from crossing to here? As you’ve said, and its proven, Quebec has a much larger Covid infection rate than Ottawa does. So, to start the ball rolling, to equalize the situation, how do we force the closure of roads into Ottawa from Quebec?