Quebec leads Canada in coronavirus deaths, so why is it starting to reopen?
Ryan Flanagan Writer
Published Thursday, May 7, 2020 10:34AM EDT Last Updated Thursday, May 7, 2020 10:59AM EDT

TORONTO -- When surveying the COVID-19 landscape in Canada, one province stands out.

Quebec has nearly twice as many confirmed cases of the disease as any other province, and more than 1,000 more related deaths than Ontario, the only other province with a total anywhere close.

When the numbers are adjusted for population, Quebec stands out even more. One out of every 250 Quebecers has tested positive for COVID-19. In Alberta, which has done more testing per capita, that figure stands at approximately one out of every 750 residents. In Ontario, it's one out of every 800. No other province comes close. The rates in every other province are even lower.

Sixty per cent of all Canadian deaths linked to COVID-19 have occurred in Quebec, including more than one-third in Montreal alone. The city is steadily racking up more positive tests and COVID-19-related deaths than the rest of Quebec, per capita. Montreal's director of public health, Mylene Drouin, said this week that the city is "not seeing a decrease" in its coronavirus curve.

"Montreal's left a little bit like a child at a birthday party who [is] kept inside watching all the fun happen elsewhere," Dr. Matthew Oughton, director of the infectious disease training program at McGill University Health Centre, told CTV News Channel on Monday.

"It's a difficult situation, because clearly what's going on in Montreal is very different than what's happening in much the rest of the province."


Unlike most other parts of the country, where new COVID-19 caseloads are generally decreasing, Quebec's daily numbers have been holding steady since mid-April, according to Jay Kaufman, an epidemiology professor at McGill...