In an exceptional move, the City of Montreal held its council meeting behind closed doors, taking for the first time in history the public’s questions online.
The move was made in order to follow health official’s guidelines of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
About a hundred questions came in, most of them related to concerns over the novel coronavirus.
People were worried about parking restrictions coming into effect April 1, financial help and social distancing rules not being respected in public.
The meeting started with a moment of silence in honour of Montrealers “who are doing their part and showing great sense of community during these tough times,” said Sterling Downey.
Most members of council joined over the phone.
Those who were present sat two-metres apart.
Mayor Valérie Plante also thanked all city workers, which she called “the municipal family” as well as health-care workers, dubbed “our guardian angels.”
“Thank you for showing discipline and resilience. Most of the population are following recommendations to the letter and it’s reassuring. But we can’t let our guard down,” Plante said.
“I’m extremely proud of you all. Together we will get through this.”
For his part, opposition leader Lionel Perez offered his full collaboration with the municipal government in order to support Montrealers.
The city has taken several measures in order to contain the spread of coronavirus in Montreal, including closing public sports and cultural centres.
It’s also asking Montrealers to stay home if possible.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
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