MONTREAL (CityNews) — Thousands of parents gathered in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles on Saturday demanding the Quebec government reconsider some of the COVID measures imposed in schools.
The parents say things likes masks, distancing and other rules and preventing their kids from being kids.
“We’re impacting a full complete generation right now,” said Pascale Montesano, co-founder of Collectif Parents Quebec. “And the price, we’re going to see it in five years, 10 years, 15 years from now. We have as parents have a role to say enough is enough”.
Montesano says parents need to be a voice for their children and stand up for what’s in their best interest.
“If I would be a teenager right now, or I would be a child of eight years old, I would look to my mom and say, ‘mom please step up for me, because I cannot do my physical education with a mask on my face, I’m not allowed to see my friends, I’m not allowed to see my family, I’m not allowed to see my grandma, I have no birthday, I have nothing,’” said Montesano.
The goal of Saturday’s demonstration — “La Grande Marche des Enfants” — was to put pressure on the Francois Legault government to hasten the return to pre-COVID rules across Quebec schools – no masks, no hand sanitizers, no safety measures.
To date, more than 18,000 Quebec students have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic. More than 9,000 classes have been cancelled.
But the founders of Collectif Parents Quebec insist kids should be allowed to live freely and not be forced to wear masks in class.
“My boy, he doesn’t want to wear a mask,” said Rafael Cavaliere, another of the group’s co-founders. “He feels it’s unnecessary and he knows a lot about the virus and about the pandemic. He knows that he’s not at risk”.