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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Massad

What is an essential service? What is open and what is not

Premiere François Legault shut down everything but essential services this week. There is some debate about what is considered essential. The sale of cannabis and alcohol for example. Should the Dollar Store be open?

Here is an official list services and activities that it considers essential and that will remain

open from the Quebec Government website: Note, though that "telework and e-commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses."

Essential health care services

  • "All occupations in the health and social services network"

  • "Pre-hospital emergency services (paramedics and paramedics, dispatcher and dispatcher)"

  • "Private professional resource offices (health network)"

  • Pharmacies

  • Dentists (emergency consultations)

  • Optometry (emergency services)

  • chiropractors for emergency for patients with trauma or severe pain.

  • "Intermediate resources and private seniors' residences"

  • "Home services for seniors, the disabled and the vulnerable"

  • "Specialized accommodation resources (domestic violence, homelessness, drug addiction, etc.)"

  • 811 and 911 call centre workers

  • Héma Québec

  • Transplant-Quebec

  • Red Cross

  • National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ)

  • Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

  • "Production, supply, and distribution of drugs, vaccines and pharmaceutical goods, and medical equipment (including laboratory and research center)"

  • Veterinarians

  • Animal shelters

Public security services

  • "Police services, including distribution of emergency calls (municipal and Sûreté du Québec)"

  • Fire services

  • Correctional services

  • Special constables

  • Security agencies

  • Ministry of Public Security (civil security and coroners)

  • "Forest firefighters and all types of professionals supporting civil security operations"

  • Courthouse ("staff required to maintain minimum operations")

  • Communication services

Essential government services

  • "Educators and support staff for emergency child care"

  • Online higher education

  • "Providers of goods and services for poor citizens"

  • Food inspection

  • Waste collection

  • "Government Air Services"

  • Suicide prevention centre

  • Customer communication centre for the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity

  • "Support services for victims of domestic violence"

  • Income security and social security

  • "Resources deemed essential by the municipalities (administration, public works, etc.)"

Maintenance and operations of strategic infrastructures

  • Production, supply, transport, and distribution of energy (electricity, fossil fuels)

  • "Keeping essential public infrastructure in good working order (bridges, municipal buildings, etc.)"

  • "Construction, maintenance and maintenance of essential activities linked in particular to public and private infrastructure which may involve a risk to public health and safety (private dam, management of dangerous and radioactive materials, etc.)"

  • "Sanitary services and supply chain (example: water treatment plant)"

  • IT resources (security, maintenance, urgent needs related to the situation)

  • Data centres

Essential manufacturing activities

  • "Food production (examples: agricultural businesses, food processing, beverage, slaughterhouses, vegetable production)"

  • "Production of necessary inputs for essential sectors"

  • Manufacture of medical instruments

  • Chemical manufacturing

  • Manufacture of sanitary products

  • "Manufacturing of microelectronics components"

  • "Industrial complexes (especially the aluminum sector) and mining must minimize their activities"

  • Defense manufacturing and maintenance

Essential shops

  • Grocery and other food stores

  • Pharmacies

  • Convenience stores

  • "Large areas — excluding shopping centres — offering grocery, pharmacy, or hardware services"

  • Products for agricultural holdings

  • Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC)

  • Funeral homes, cremation services, and cemeteries

  • Restaurants ("take out or delivery counters only")

  • Hotels

  • Cleaners and laundromats

  • Medical and orthopedic trade

  • Pet food and supplies stores

  • Movers

  • "Work equipment (safety and protection)"

Banking and financial services

  • Financial services (Financial institutions, ATMs, and other payment methods)

  • Insurance services (telephone service)

  • Payroll services

  • Accounting services

  • Financial market services

Media & Telecommunications

  • Telecommunications (network and equipment)

  • Cable operators

  • Printers ("only for newspaper printing")

  • National media

  • Local media

Building sector

  • "Construction firms for an emergency repair or for security purposes"

  • "Electricians and plumbers and other trades for emergency services"

  • Rental equipment

Building maintenance and upkeep services

  • Housekeeping

  • "Firms related to building maintenance (elevators, ventilation, alarm, etc.)"

Essential transport and logistics services

  • Public transport and transport of people

  • Ports and airports

  • "Maintenance services of locomotives, aircraft and essential aeronautical operations (air transport)"

  • "Supply and distribution of food, groceries and convenience stores"

  • "Transport, storage, and distribution of essential goods"

  • Snow removal and maintenance of functional road links

  • "Service stations and mechanical repair of motor vehicles, trucks and specialized equipment for industries considered essential"

  • Taxis and paratransit services

  • Postal, courier, and parcel delivery services

If your business or industry isn't listed above, but you think it is essential or that it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you can apply for designation as an essential business.

Governement of Quebec official website has an ongoing list.

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