Quebec is honouring the more than 10,500 people who have died from the novel coronavirus in the province one year since the health crisis was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
The commemorations will take place on the grounds of the national assembly in Quebec City, where flags are flying half-mast Thursday in memory of the lives lost over the past 12 months.
Premier François Legault will be joined by families of the victims and representatives for people working in essential services for the day of mourning. The province’s lieutenant governor, the health minister and leaders of the opposition parties will also be paying their respects.
Quebec has been the province hardest hit by the pandemic. The staggering number of victims who have died from COVID-19 represents nearly half of Canada’s death toll related to the virus.
The ceremony will also pay tribute to health-care workers who have been on the front lines of the health crisis as well as other essential workers.
For the day of remembrance, the white rose has been chosen as an emblem for mourning by the province. The government says the flower is associated with “honour and reverence.”
The ceremony begins at 12:10 p.m. and a minute of silence will be held at 1 p.m. at the provincial legislature.
— with files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier and the Canadian Press
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