When this all began, our thought process was based on survival, financial assistance, government programs, insurance & health and welfare issues. We were nervous, the whole situation was new to us and adapting our lives to the new reality quickly became a day to day activity for many. I would say on the positive side, many of us adjusted and changed our habits so we could survive- we were eager to integrate the changes and find our new normal.
Many of us are now more educated about the virus, the pandemic, the statistics and we feel more comfortable talking about it. So, on a personal level, researching the facts, listening to provincial health agencies and educating yourself on COVID-19 will help all of us adjust to possible new procedures going forward in our industry.
Now as we look back on six weeks of a complete shut down of our industry here in Montreal, we all have the same questions in mind about an eventual return to work. Questions about when that will be, questions about safety, questions about sanitation on set and in our working environments, questions about procedures, social distancing- how will that work exactly?
For several weeks now, local industry groups have been meeting via video conference to discuss the issues, suggest solutions and discuss and lobby with government agencies here in Quebec and on a national level. These groups, IA514, IA667, AQTIS, DGC, ARRQ, ACTRA, GMMQ, SARTEC, SPACQ, UDA have had weekly meetings to develop safe working guidelines and practices for an eventual return to work here in Quebec. There is still so much to do, but I wanted you to know everyone is working toward that reality!
As with the local unions, IA514 and IA667 have participated in weekly national meetings with all the locals in Canada from coast to coast discussing industry issues, back to work guidelines and finding solutions to the many issues that are currently affecting our industry. The International office in the US is being very pro-active supporting the Canadian locals and the national office here is very busy inter-provincially dealing with guidelines, procedures and government agencies and all the while keeping the train on the track to a better tomorrow for all of us.
Vaccines and treatments are not available yet and the virus has not been contained, so it is extremely important that when our industry comes back on line, we all cooperate and understand the changes and procedures that will be in place for the safety of all of us and our families. We will have to be careful in our daily routines of our own practices and when dealing with other co-workers throughout our workday. We do not know at this time when the industry will start up again, but there are sure to be many changes we will have to adapt to.
I urge you all to continue to follow the information and advice of the provincial health & welfare authorities and other government authorities in your area. Practice social distancing and continue careful sanitation efforts. Please stay current with the latest information and resources, things are changing weekly, so being up to date is important. Following government guidelines can help you and others stay safe.
To have a safe workplace, we will all have to be part of the solution.