Quebec and Ontario are hardest hit by coronavirus. Why are their reopening plans different?

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Ontario and Quebec are the two provinces hardest hit by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Canada, yet they appear to be taking different approaches in the quest to get their communities and economies moving again.

Together, the populous provinces account for more than 80 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases reported in Canada and more than 90 per cent of deaths linked to the virus, according to federal public health figures.

But even as Quebec’s case and death counts continue to climb, Premier François Legault has announced plans to first reopen some businesses and some elementary schools and daycares outside Montreal starting in the first half of May, leaving it up to parents to decide whether they want to send their children back to class.

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On Wednesday, the provincial government said it will also start easing restrictions on travel between its regions next week and adjust those measures based on how the situation unfolds in the coming weeks.

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Quebec’s neighbour, meanwhile, appears to be taking things more slowly.

This week,


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