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Take a scroll through the ups and downs of Quebec in 2022, from Omicron to World Cup

Intensive care specialist Dr. Joseph Dahine said patients included unvaccinated people between 30 and 60, and vaccinated patients over the age of 70 with existing health conditions.  (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Intensive care specialist Dr. Joseph Dahine said patients included unvaccinated people between 30 and 60, and vaccinated patients over the age of 70 with existing health conditions. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

While there were plenty of heart-warming stories throughout 2022, Quebec had a rough start as the Omicron wave swept through the province and killed more than 1,200 people in the first month.

Unvaccinated people in Quebec were nearly six times more likely to land in hospital and 12 times more likely to end up in the ICU than those who had received at least two doses, according to data collected in January by the province's Health Ministry.

COVID-19 cases soared across the country, but Quebec had the most deaths per capita related to COVID-19 of anywhere in Canada. The health-care network was overrun.

Premier François Legault accepted the resignation of the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, on Jan. 10.

The government had locked down the economy once again, encouraging people to stay home by closing gyms, restaurant dining rooms and entertainment venues. A controversial curfew was even put into place for a few weeks, stopping all non-essential travel at night.

Protests erupted against the strict health measures. By the month's end, the government began lifting the restrictions and the province slowly returned to a new normal.

Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada
Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

In April, a Montreal family was left reeling after a 56-year-old man died in a small plane crash near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Not four months before, that man's 22-year-old son died in a work-related ferris wheel accident in the Old Port.

Joey Valcin, the surviving son of Gamaniel Valcin, and brother to Riley Jonathan Valcin, spoke publicly about the tragedies. He described his father as a "man of the people."

After the Quebec's workplace health and safety board found work conditions were dangerous for his brother in a June report, he said "mistakes like this cannot happen again."

Charles Contant/Radio-Canada
Charles Contant/Radio-Canada

By May, Élise Desaulniers was in full recovery after she gave one of her kidneys to a stranger over the winter.

She told CBC News that she has no regrets. In fact, she was training for her first half marathon.

"They told me that the surgery of the other person went well and I felt really, really excited about it," she said.

Sharon Yonan-Renold/CBC
Sharon Yonan-Renold/CBC

And while the Russian invasion of Ukraine captured the attention of the world, heart-warming stories began to emerge of refugees finding comfort and safety in Canada.

Among them was Yaroslav Zahoruyko. He arrived in the spring and soon was offered a job at Quinn Farm, located just west of Montreal.

Zahoruyko, 58, had left Ukraine one week before the war began to visit his daughter in Austria and wasn't able to return. But he was able to instead settle with his family in Quebec.

His other daughter and her family were living in Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot, Que., so they were happy to welcome Zahoruyko into their home.

Kwabena Oduro/CBC
Kwabena Oduro/CBC

Montreal had two unusual visitors in the spring of 2022.

The first minke whale spent time between the Old Port and Île Sainte-Hélène.

The second minke whale was first spotted near the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district after it made its way upstream from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, according to the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM).

A GREMM team monitored the whales while they were in town.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a good environment for the marine mammals and at least one of them died.

Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada
Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

It was around that time that two Montreal parents came forward with an alarming story: Their daycare reported them to the province's youth protection services, known as the DPJ, because their son was telling graphic or violent stories.

Racquel Smith told the daycare staff her son could be quite dramatic. He'd also been telling far-fetched stories at home and his older brother had gone through a similar phase. She then assured them she and her husband would keep a closer eye on what he's watching on TV.

Regardless, they were reported. With their son the only visibly Black child in his daycare group, the couple began to question whether they were judged differently.

As it turns out, members of the province's English-speaking Black population are about five times more likely to be reported than white children, according to a 2020 study by McGill University.

Simon Martel/CBC
Simon Martel/CBC

Indigenous youth were the driving force behind an art symposium that was on display at Montreal's Botanical Garden in June.

The theme of the exhibit is "we're still here," with First Nations and Inuit artists looking to display cultural traditions through contemporary art practices. The symposium was part of celebrations for Indigenous History Month.

"The whole theme is actually resiliency and this exhibit is the perfect way to show that Indigenous youth are thriving and that we are still carrying on our traditions in the modern and contemporary world," said Johnny Boivin, who is both Innu and Atikamekw.

Simon Nakonechny/CBC
Simon Nakonechny/CBC

Professor, pilot, actress and engineer — these are only a few of the young dreams that were carefully placed in a time capsule and buried in front of the Jeunesse Unie building on Bloomfield Avenue in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood back in June.

About 100 young residents of Park Ex — as it's known to many — come to the youth centre every week after school. There, they find help with homework, a chance to explore passions and a good dose of encouragement — without having to pay a penny.

The clientele includes 16-year-old Raed Jamal, who dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer but says he needs help staying motivated to get through school.

Jennifer Yoon/CBC
Jennifer Yoon/CBC

As spring melted away to summer, would-be travellers found themselves stuck in long lines outside of passport offices around Montreal.

After two years of travel restrictions, it quickly became clear that there were plenty of people eager to go on vacation over the summer — with many applying for their first Canadian passport. This lead to months-long delays, people camping in front of offices and a federal effort to get short-staffed passport offices back on track.

"Our emotions are through the roof, we're trying to stay calm," said Antoinette Corbeil after 36 hours of waiting in the rain.

Charles Contant/CBC News
Charles Contant/CBC News

A 16-year-old boy was sentenced in June to five years in connection to the death of Lucas Gaudet, also 16, who was stabbed during an altercation outside St. Thomas High School in Montreal's West Island on Feb. 8.

The teen faced second-degree murder for the death of Gaudet and an attempted murder charges in relation to a 15-year-old who was injured in the same altercation. He pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault.

"I could see the tears in his eyes when he was lying there on life support," the victim's father, Guy Gaudet, said. "I know he wasn't crying for himself, he was crying for us because he knows how much we were hurting."

Matt D'Amours/CBC
Matt D'Amours/CBC

The landslide that destroyed a house and damaged another in Saguenay, Que., on June 13 was the result of heavy rainfall on an already faulty clay terrain, experts from Quebec's Ministry of Transport determined.

"A landslide of this magnitude in these conditions, it's an exceptional event," said geotechnical engineer and soil expert Denis Demers, who works for the ministry.

The slide has caused government officials to issue an evacuation order for some 76 houses in the La Baie borough in Saguenay, a city about 240 kilometres north of Quebec City, due to the high risk of further slides in the area.

Radio-Canada
Radio-Canada

Flocks of sheep returned for another season of landscaping duties in the Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie boroughs, where they'll be chomping on grass, weeds and invasive plants.

"They do the job of a lawn mower, essentially," said Amber Forrester, an urban shepherd with Biquette à Montreal, the organization behind the annual initiative in the city.

Biquette advocates for eco-grazing — using animals instead of machines to maintain green spaces.

Kwabena Oduro/CBC News
Kwabena Oduro/CBC News

In July, CBC News spent time with Paul Gauthier, who gets plenty of stares when he rides his bike through the streets of Montreal. Strangers even flag him down to ask questions.

"They're like: who is this guy? Is this like some kind of advertising? And they're not sure, but it's just me riding my bike," he said, laughing.

Gauthier, a self-described history buff, rides a penny-farthing — the large-wheeled, tall-framed bikes from the 1800s.

Simon Martel/CBC
Simon Martel/CBC

Pope Francis arrived in Canada on July 24 for a "penitential pilgrimage" as part of a weeklong trip of healing and reconciliation between the Catholic Church and Indigenous people.

Residential school survivors and their families, wearing orange shirts and ribbon skirts, gathered in front of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica outside Quebec City before the papal mass on July 28 at the National Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

The calls for the Pope to rescind the Doctrine of Discovery grew louder at each stop of the papal visit. The doctrine, dating back to the 15th century, refers to a series of edicts known as papal bulls which were used to justify colonizing Indigenous lands.

CBC reporter Ka'nhehsí:io Deer wrote about covering Pope Francis's visit to Canada from the papal plane.

Ka’nhehsí:io Deer/CBC
Ka’nhehsí:io Deer/CBC

Montreal rapper Makendal St-Félix, known as Maky Lavender, was the first to rap on the city's new electric train, the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). He was asked to perform at a promotional event unveiling REM cars, and a promotional video was made.

But then he was disappointed to learn the video was pulled from the transit system's social media page after it was criticized for being in English.

The REM's official TikTok page posted the clip, and then the strong linguistic backlash led to deletion. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which manages the REM project, told CBC the video did not meet their publication criteria on sharing information regarding the electric train.

Sarah Leavitt/CBC
Sarah Leavitt/CBC

The streets of Montreal were a sea of orange on Sept. 30, as thousands came together to mourn the children who died while attending residential schools and to celebrate the resilience of survivors, their families and communities.

It was the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, declared a federal statutory holiday by Parliament in 2021 — days after the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed the discovery of roughly 200 potential burial sites, likely of children, on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

At least seven events took place in the greater Montreal area, including the second annual march organized by the Native Women's Shelter and Resilience Montreal, events in schools and a tobacco ceremony in Kahnawake, the Kanien'kehá:ka territory on Montreal's South Shore.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

Zora took the Metro in Montreal for the first time in October with her owner, Jay Ritchie. Zora is an Australian Shepherd.

"She was very comfortable, very relaxed, she took it all in," said Ritchie. "Now she can go visit other dog parks and go for walks in other neighbourhoods."

In October, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) launched the nine-month pilot project to allow dogs on the Metro in hopes of making transit more accessible — though it comes with strict rules.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

The turmoil in Iran has been felt across Canada, but also right here in Quebec with protests cropping up throughout the fall.

Thousands of people participated in demonstrations against the Iran regime's deadly crackdown on protests happening there, sparked after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after her arrest by morality police for not properly wearing her hijab.

Iranians in Quebec City gathered outside the province's National Assembly on Sept. 21 to show support to those in Iran protesting the death of Amini.

Rachel Watts/CBC
Rachel Watts/CBC

After an intense general election that ended with the Coalition Avenir Québec in the majority, several newly elected, opposing members of the provincial legislature refused to swear an oath to King Charles III, Canada's monarch.

Eventually, members of Québec solidaire conceded to follow through with the tradition, but three Parti Québécois MNAs were denied entry to Quebec's legislature when the session got underway on Dec. 1.

The Quebec government then passed a law, making the oath optional for members of the National Assembly.

Sylvain Roy Roussel/CBC
Sylvain Roy Roussel/CBC

And as the World Cup was played in Qatar, there was plenty of excitement among fans in Montreal.

One of the largest celebrations was held by those watching Morocco climb up the ranks. Montreal is home to the largest Moroccan community in North America.

The team didn't take home the cup, but it did finish fourth — making history, and giving the local Moroccan community reason to cheer.

"Everyone is on a cloud," said Ilyas Bajji, who grew up in northern Tangier and moved to Quebec in 2009. The 32-year-old civil engineer said he felt right at home watching the match at a local cafe.

"It's a warm feeling, it's emotional, it's nostalgic."

Verity Stevenson/CBC
Verity Stevenson/CBC