Montrealers, Canada, Dr. Bonnie Henry discussed on The Current

The Current


How do you think cities like yours will be changed after this pandemic I think that We were talking about opportunities just before talking about how we see. We share the the the the streets and sidewalks and all that I say there's no particular also to connect the economic recovery to connected to the social recovery as well as put it in the in the context of fighting climate change. So I I. I'm I'm really hoping that as we're you know we will be going through this crisis and afterwards we need to take the opportunity to think differently and for me. This is why I'm so happy to be with other mares. That are have the same ideas and we're pushing agenda of keeping climate change in our minds so we don't fall back into the same kind of habits so at least we re questioned some of the things we've been doing for for forever thinking that's the only way to do it or to develop or to do business so this is why. I find it very interesting in to share best practices and ways to go through the the crisis but especially the after the crisis. Montreal in the summer is one of the great places in this country and I mean it partially because people take over your city and they're out there enjoying themselves. Do you worry that people won't do that future that won't gather in the hundreds of thousands for the jazz festival for pride or just to be in the park With each other. Do you worry that that won't happen again? Well I'm I'm I'm especially worried about the big festivals right now. We don't see how this could happen this summer for obvious reasons. And we'RE NOT GONNA push it to a place where it would be dangerous for public health. you know to to have the festival in different offense so I I think that once we once they will be safe the city will be by your will will continue to vibrate with all those big events and festival but right now we need to concentrate on what's good for the population And for the gatherings and everything. This is where I find it interesting to already look at. How can I give more space public space to population? How can I make more pedestrian spaces? So people are taking over. You know. They're they're using their city even though they they will not be outside of watching a show under the stars like we used to do in the previous years. Just before I let you go. What do you miss about your city right now? It's a very different place when you're inside the kids. What would you miss about your city right? I do I miss well. Of course I miss like a very personal level is hard for me. I'm a very down to her kinda mayor and I go outside and meet people and this is what I love. I'm really connected to the citizens right now. Everybody's in their house and we're not talking. Well we're not meeting so of course. I will say like all everyone in Canada. I believe that are are waiting to have this just this moment where we can walk industry freely and not being afraid of our neighbor or the people that were meeting and keeping our two meters distance. But at the same time I do appreciate. How much are being disciplined? Disappoint and doing a lot of efforts staying in their home like we said without necessarily having a lot of space dealing with the kids which is not always easy dealing with all the financial struggle and they're proud of our of Montrealers but to be honest of quebeckers and Canadian. I think we're we're quite disciplined is It is it is great to speak with you. I look forward to being back in your city when it is at full throttle. Which is one of those great places. Thank you nice to talk to. You have a great day. Bellary is the mayor of Montreal. Card is a Montreal based health columnist with the Globe and Mail. He has been listening in Andre. Good morning to you. Good morning we you make of what we just heard from the mayor of your town. Valerie plant but how your city is coping and what she's up against. This is a city that is finding that flattening. The curve is more difficult than perhaps people initially imagined. Yeah this is the city. This is the epicenter of desouq break in Canada by far It's a big big issue in Montreal but I think as the mirror set montrealers are adapting. Were still out in a boat in large numbers but respecting social distancing trying to get our minds around this new normal like everyone else in the world and going on with like the Premier of Quebec Francois Ago as I mentioned to the mayor said that's the planned reopening retail stores and other non essential businesses in the Greater Montreal. Area would be delayed by a week. Is that the right call. Oh definitely I think The again the mayor said quite well at the city's just not ready yet to still. It's one of the only places in the country. That's not flattening the curve. The numbers are still going up. Daily hospitals are starting to get quite stressed. Or you know there is more than a thousand people in hospital just in the city of Montreal. That's probably as much as almost the rest of the country combined and yet on the other side of the country and British Columbia Bonnie Henry of the medical officer of health. There says that this is the end of the beginning of their pandemic. What do you make of? What's happening there? Well the very good news You know we have different. We don't have one Pandemic in Canada or one outbreak. We have a number of them in different. Parts of the country were big country Very different world in British Columbia Deneen Quebec Montreal today so they're adapting and and I think she's right and I think our wording is perfect. It's you know it's the first wave that they've gotten control of but they're starting to prepare for what's going to happen in the fall. I think that's where public health officials have the most trepidation as we let down our guard for the summer. Things a little better and then the fall risks being much much worse part of this is about and this is what I raised with with the mayor of Montreal the not impatience but the push from citizens to get back to normal people want things to start to reopen even The Premier of Ontario who? We talked about this last week. Said that he put out a roadmap not a calendar is now talking about a calendar and talking about opening some things up perhaps by the May weekend what do you see as the big challenge to reopening safely not just in individual jurisdictions but but across the country the big challenges. There's so much known about this virus. We still don't know how many carriers are out there with symptoms so he symptomatic people. Will this explode? If we open up our stores people start to interacting more. We just don't know so we're watching other jurisdictions and I think to me the biggest issue is we do have to go slowly. Everyone agrees on that but the problem is what happens if we do. Have a another big resurgence. I think it becomes more and more difficulty to shut down again and I think that's why everyone's hesitating they won't they don't WanNa have to make that call and and backpedal part of that hesitating is trying to figure out whether people should stay inside or go outside. We're talking about Dr. Bonnie Henry have listened to what she said about getting inside the risk. That somebody who is sick is spreading this virus from coughing or sneezing side and you walk by them very quickly even if it is within six feet that risk is is negligible. We you know that's not the way. This virus is mostly transmitted. So please go outside gold side with your family but dude in a way that maintains that distance rate now. And don't go vote if you're feeling sick yourself card. To what extent do you think Canadians are hearing that message? Go outside consistently across this country where I don't think they're hearing it consistently. You know the messages go upside but don't congregate and I think that's been the message all along but we spent. We spent two months scaring the Dickens out of people saying you know there's this pandemic biggest thing that's happened in a century and now it's it's hard to it's a lot harder to unskilled people than to scare them so a lot of people have heard this message. This is dangerous so they can't do anything but it's been safe all along to go outside the safest place to be outside. It's hard to transfer harder to transmit so long as you keep your distance. You know this is a an illness you're GONNA get if you're in close confines with someone who sick If you're touching surfaces going outside is the best place to be honestly you wrote a column about this talking about how we need to change that message. What do you make of the decision in the city of Toronto to Close High Park? This is so that people won't go and look at at The Cherry blossoms returned one part of this four hundred Acre Park but the entire park has been closed down. Yeah so it's one of those things that you don't want people to congregate but you do want them to get out. So I I think you have to err on the side of trusting people as you know. I live in Montreal. Montreal has kept his parks open on the weekend. The parks were full of people but ninety nine percent of people were respecting. The recommendations. People were staying apart Enjoying this etc I. I don't see why Toronto can't do that to me. It's A. It's a shame that such a beautiful park that we really need these days. Close the other part of it is what was talking about the idea that you create a more equal space on streets by closing some lanes and this has been tried in some cities other cities like the city of Toronto. Perhaps more reluctant to do this. Why is that the right thing to to open up some of the streets so that if people are going to go out they have more space? Well I've been hammering away at the swing for awhile that you don't. There's not too many people out there too little space for the people who are so. We have to create spaces you know. Most of our even sitting is cars. It's designed for cars It's a time where people are coming into cities to work etc. We have to open up. The streets Some cities Vancouver. Calgary have been Montreal. Been much better but this closed streets let people walk on them six feet apart or two meters apart and that's much better for everyone mental and physical health and much better use of states. What's the resistant? What's what's the resistance to that you talked about the idea of trusting people is that what's at the heart of this that some cities perhaps just don't trust the citizens to do the right thing. I Yeah I think again. There's a fear of congregating which I don't think has played out in any of these places I think the real fear is From cities is people. Want to go back. I think they're punks at that very well. People are liking this getting out in a boat and having some streets closed This is very popular and I think there's a movement around the world to take advantage of this crisis to say maybe we should do our cities a little differently. Maybe some of these street sweet close temporarily. We should close permanently. This whole whole car based culture. Maybe that's one of the things that will change out of this new normal. Your Health Call Mr Not urban design columnist but DC. A connection between the two. Well it's absolutely you know. It's a health issue our physical environment. It's one of the most important determinants of health if you live in a place where there's green where you can walk You know who has the lowest rate of obesity in the country Montreal because people walk more? Here there's a direct connection between our health and our physical environment that we we've neglected for far too long. What are we learning about? The we've been talking about this on the program. The impact that this is all having on our mental health there was a survey done by Angus. Reid saying that. Fifty percent of those surveyed said that they had felt that their mental health. To head declined. A smaller percentage said that if the client severely what are we learning about you know being told to stay home and the effect that's having on on our mental health. I think there's no question it's stressful. It's demanding I think we have to be careful about saying this is going to result in mental illness. You know we have this problem in modern society that we pathology is all these normal emotions. So it's normal to be stressed to be worried to have economic worries but he doesn't mean we're GONNA end up depressed. In institutionalize people are very very resilient in incredibly difficult circumstances. And I think There's going to be another challenge is to change the way we talk and behave to adjust to. This is going to be more okay to talk about our stress to not go into work because I'm having a bad corona virus day. I can't take it today of these mental health days. Maybe it will be an opportunity to talk more openly about our feeling can ask you about work. I'm in the Office. And there's a handful of us who are here. Many many many more people are working from home. What do you think the transition back to? The office will look like in the weeks ahead..

Coming up next