Mario Dumont: “The army to reinforce our weak link” [«L’armée en renfort de notre maillon faible?»]

A picture taken from the Internet (an anonymous US media)

First, here is Mr. Dumont’s article published today in the Journal de Montréal.

Thanks, Mr. Dumont. Bambi read your paper after reading two contradictory information yesterday, one where Mr. Trudeau repeated that no province has yet asked for the direct help of the army and the second where Mr. Legault said in English that Québec is considering asking Ottawa to send the army (as per the second article below):

Regardless of any miscommunication in times of crisis, here is a translation of Mr. Dumont’s article:

When an excessive force is applied to a system, it is the weakest point that lets go. This is true in mechanics. This is true for the human body: in the face of too much stress, each person has a weak point that falters. For some, it’s the back, for others, it’s the digestive system.

A pandemic strikes Québec and imposes a huge shock on the health system. The weak point dropped: the CHSLDs [Residential and Long-term Care Centres]. Can we really pretend to be surprised? Can someone really stand up in Québec and pretend to ignore that the CHSLDs represent a weak link?

Baths, potatoes

Not long ago, it was hard to bathe patients. Over the years, we have cut back on hygiene and the quality of food. We almost had national celebrations when the powdered potatoes disappeared.

The caregivers of our seniors were offered the lowest wages in the public and para-public sector: $13, $14 an hour with very little opportunity for advancement. Let’s admit that our governments have not taken a chance on the recruitment and stability of the workforce. Especially since it is hard work.

Coroner Godin, who investigated a death last year at Residence Herron, found the flaws. Her report stated that staff did not know how to react to the situation of a choking person. This gives an idea of ​​the weakness of the training. It also gives us an idea of ​​their inability to handle complex procedures to prevent the spread of a virus.

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Legault took the hit. With humility and frankness. He cannot bear the blame for a social problem that has dragged on for so many years. But he must take responsibility for an obvious lack of preparation in this branch of our health system. And it is admittedly the place where the most vulnerable population is.

The announced measures arrive a little late, but they could help to limit the problems. A visit to 2,600 residences in Québec could be used to identify other problem sites. The team of experts can improve the procedures if they work quickly enough.


Both the government and the opposition parties are now promising to make top priority of improving living conditions in CHSLDs. I guess the trauma that this crisis has created will cause real change this time.

The problem is, you need arms IMMEDIATELY. And in quantity! The reinforcement promised by the government does not arrive on the ground. Perhaps because many are afraid of entering infected environments.

There are two choices. The conscription of teachers or other public sector employees available. Risk of union battle? Or the use of the military: thousands of disciplined, efficient people available on call. The hours count.”

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