Chelsey St. Pierre – The Suburban LJI Reporter
Faced with the fourth wave and the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation, the Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx announced that the test outdoor event project planned for this fall in Quebec is cancelled for the time being.
The testing project led by Laval University was approved by Health Minister Christian Dube in July with the aim of collecting enough evidence to further support the full and safe resumption of festivals and events in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Festivals and tourist events are an important economic activity in Quebec. According to Tourism Montreal president, Yves Lalumière, Montreal’s core events alone pumped $4.8 billion into the economy in 2019.
Proulx’s announcement puts an end to Laval University’s mandate to develop a research protocol surrounding events. The two calls for tenders launched for the selection of service providers responsible for organizing the shows were also cancelled.
“With a fourth wave gaining momentum and the ever-increasing threat of the Delta Variant, the conditions are no longer in place to continue the test event project. By taking the decision now to end it, we are acting responsibly to protect the health of the people and to manage public finances effectively, ” Proulx said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our festival and event promoters and public health to ensure a safe revival of event activity in Quebec,”.
With the change in weather on the horizon and the indefiniteness of the decision, it is unclear whether the testing project is renewable in the forseable future.