In Memoriam of the 2-to-3-year-old female humpback whale, who was first seen in the Saint-Lawrence river on May 30th, and who died due to a collision with a boat on the night of June 9th.
In early October, Montreal artist Geraldine Laurendeau built a monument with the help of other local artists near the water in Bellerive Park (in the city’s east-end) to keep the memory of this creature alive.
“They’re quite fascinating animals but behind that, there are a lot of things we can learn from them,” said Laurendeau, “Helping them is helping us.”
The statue, called Cetacean, measures five meters by three meters and aims to bring awareness about whales. Laurendeau hopes that by doing so, her art will connect with people on a deeper level and spark emotion.
The following was written before the whale’s death and is published now in her loving memory.
There was a humpback whale sighting in the Old Port, and I had the misfortune of being in the old port at that exact moment. I did get to see it, but at what cost?
My dad and I were walking along the river (yes, he lives in the Old Port, so we didn’t travel or anything, and walks around our neighbourhoods are allowed) when we saw crowds of people gathered, as well as camera stands placed everywhere. Uncomfortable, I tried to head out, but my dad obviously needed to know what was going on.
It turns out that there was an extremely rare sighting of a humpback whale in the Saint-Lawrence river, as they usually never go past Tadousack. It was basically a once-in-a-lifetime thing, as whales aren’t supposed to chill downtown, but we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so how about we don’t act like idiots, please?
The police were everywhere, and I mean everywhere: on bikes, on foot, and in a car holding a megaphone, announcing that they would be giving out fines ranging from 1 000$ to 6 000$ to anyone that didn’t follow the 2-meter rule.
Spoiler alert: That was a bluff.
I heard a policewoman laughing and joking with her partner about this fine (neither are wearing a mask, mind you, and they were walking side-by-side; I doubt that they live together since they are work partners, but anyway), displaying, once again, the wonderful sense of professionalism that we expect from Montreal’s finest.
Here is my confusion: Why were only about 5% of the people here wearing a mask? None of the cops had one, which absolutely should not be a surprise. What a great example they were setting!
Also, there were around five bikers passing by just inches away from me and I swear I-…. never mind, I won’t finish that thought. The thing is, despite not wearing a mask nor respecting the 2-meter rule, these bikers were not being fined. As I mentioned earlier, the cops were bluffing. I wonder how much I would have gotten fined if I just snapped and pushed the next biker that got too close to me off of their bike…
I spoke too soon. The next biker was a toddler on a tricycle, and he almost biked right into me because his father was walking slowly behind, as he was on his phone. Neither of them were wearing a mask (of course).
Montreal alone is home to over half of Quebec’s total number of Corona cases and deaths.
Quebec alone is home to over half of Canada’s total number of corona cases and deaths.
Think about what this really means.
It means that Montreal alone is home to over a quarter of Canada’s total number of Corona cases and deaths.
Ok, now, stop thinking, because all of that doesn’t matter when there is a humpback whale sighting! Families with small children and their elderly at-risk grandma were coming out to spread COVID-19 because no one cares about anything, except for that one humpback whale you can barely even see.
By Sophie Dufresne