July 17th, 2024

Environment Canada says extreme heat is continuing today in Ontario and Quebec

By The Canadian Press on June 19, 2024.

People try to beat the 30C heat in Montreal, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

An oppressive heat wave continued to blanket Central and Southern Ontario, southern Quebec and much of the Atlantic provinces on Wednesday.

Environment Canada says daytime highs are expected to hit 30 C to 35 C, with the humidex making it feel closer to 45 C in some areas. The hot weather is expected to continue into Friday, with overnight temperatures staying above 20 C.

Toronto and Ottawa have both extended hours at certain outdoor pools until Thursday. In Montreal, public buildings, including libraries and cultural centres, are also open longer than usual.

Quebec’s Health Department is recommending people spend at least two hours a day in an air-conditioned space, take at least one cool shower or bath per day, and limit physical activity.

Environment Canada is also reminding people to check on loved ones, especially those who are disabled, mentally ill or living alone.

The extreme temperatures didn’t stop a planned power outage in Pointe-Claire, Que., a Montreal suburb, which left 1,600 Hydro-Québec clients without power on Wednesday morning, including a seniors residence.

Hydro-Québec spokesperson Caroline Des Rosiers said the outage could not be delayed, but added that the utility took measures to reduce the impact on residents, including by starting early in the day, at 7 a.m. The outage is expected to end by 3 p.m., and Des Rosiers said it could be earlier.

Des Rosiers said Hydro-Québec reached out proactively to the Chartwell Le Wellesley seniors residence ahead of the outage to recommend ways to keep the centre cool.

Meanwhile, a new study from Quebec’s national research centre shows that high temperatures in Quebec are associated with 470 deaths and 225 hospitalizations each summer. “I think that this really provides a solid argument to say that we need to put measures in place to reduce this burden, which is going to be greater and greater,” said the study’s main author, Jérémie Boudreault, with Institut national de la recherche scientifique.

Also on Wednesday, Quebec’s order of chemists expressed its dismay that influencers are claiming sunscreen ingredients are harmful to the skin. It said such “scientifically unfounded” claims could endanger public health.

Michel Alsayegh, president of the order of chemists, says sunscreens are designed to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and that scientific research demonstrates the efficacy and safety of these products when used properly.

He said, “it is worrying to see pseudo-experts inciting the population to forego sun protection, thereby increasing the risk of skin cancer and other damage caused by UV rays.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

– With files from Jean-Benoit Legault in Montreal.

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