Recent reports coming from Quebec is that one of the largest casino properties has failed to properly implement provincial health and safety protocols. The perpetrator, in this case, is Casino Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, and the property’s violations were first noticed by a nursing assistant at the Hull Hospital, and later confirmed by a Radio-Canada investigation.
Currently, provincial health and safety rules state that all guests and staff of casinos in Quebec must wear a protective face mask while at such property. Also, in order for individuals to gain entry to such properties, they also need to present proof of full vaccination. However, it was reported that the Gatineau facility did not comply with the mask mandate.
Linda Dumouchel, a nursing assistant at the Hull Hospital was the first one to report the irregularity at the casino property in Gatineau. She explained that her first visit to the casino was due to her first outing, and while she was requested to present proof of vaccination at entry, she noticed that lots of individuals were not wearing their protective face masks.
Last weekend, a Radio-Canada team spent two hours at the casino venue and also noticed that people were conversing and dancing without wearing a protective mask. In compliance with provincial rules, patrons are not required to wear a mask while dining or drinking, but most of these individuals were not in the process of that. During that time, no one from the staff reminded guests to put their masks back on.
In response to that, Loto-Québec commented that it has always taken health and safety rules very seriously, and now it would send additional reminds to both staff and customers to comply with the protocols. Spokesperson Renaud Dugas said that the Crown’s establishments must all follow the health rules, however, the representatives of the casino refused to comment on the situation.
Epidemiologist and the family medicine research Chair at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Lise Bjerre, shared that these types of behaviors are not surprising considering the last 20 months of the unprecedented situation. She adds that people are starting to get tired and bored from the restrictions however, they must be complied with, and that we cannot let our guard down just now.
Issue Still Not Resolved
In November, Casino Lac-Leamy was involved in another controversy, as the properties dispute with staff members over salary increases is not yet resolved. Over 80 security guards and surveillance workers threatened to go out on strike, as they are not happy with the company’s terms. However, the casino’s argument is that it was heavily impacted by the previous lockdown.
The dispute between the security employees and Casino Lac-Leamy is not a recent one, and it actually dates back to 2019. Union CUPE 3959, which represents the unhappy workers, argues that the casino is more than capable of offering more competitive wages as for the first quarter of 2020-2021 Loto-Québec managed to generate almost CA$200 million in revenue, despite provincial restrictions.
Source: “Lac-Leamy casino fails to enforce mask mandates”, CBC News, December 16, 2021