Despite heat, city won’t roll out emergency measures

Though Saturday was the hottest day in Montreal thus far this year the city won’t rollout emergency measures as the weather doesn’t yet qualify as a heat wave.

City councillor Craig Sauve said the city classifies a heat wave as three consecutive days of 33 degrees and two nights of 25 degrees. Still, he said the city is taking certain steps just in case.

“We’re keeping open some of the splash pads, pools, wading pools, libraries, other municipal institutions with air conditioning,” he said. “An even worse case scenario is what happened last year, when some of the civil security would go door-to-door to check on people.”

Temperatures are not forecasted to match those of last summer, when 66 people died during an eight-day stretch in early July.

“It’s nothing similar to what we experienced last year in early July when we had a seven-day heat warning with humidex values of 45, 46 in the Montreal area,” said Environment Canada spokesperson Alexandre Parent.

For those who help the city’s most vulnerable, the week had proven busy.

“We had two guys actually passing out because of the heat,” said Alex Desjardins of the Old Brewery Mission. “One close to the mission and another almost inside the building.”

Desjardins said that while winter can be difficult for the homeless, summer presents its own challenges.

“During the winter time, the amount of support and help we get is astonishing, but it dies down during the summer,” he said. “Whether it’s -35 C or 35 C, it takes a toll on everyone. So of course it’s going to take a bigger toll on them.”