Montreal-area municipalities making different decisions on summer day camps

Click to play video: 'Several Montreal-area municipalities cancel 2020 day camp programs' Several Montreal-area municipalities cancel 2020 day camp programs
WATCH: For many parents, day camp is their only summer childcare option, but this year, some parents are going to have to find other solutions. That's because several municipalities have decided to cancel summer day camp programs, citing stringent COVID-19 restrictions. Global's Tim Sargeant has more – May 28, 2020

Zoé Kandalaft and her dad were taking advantage of having the soccer field in Valois Park in Pointe-Claire to themselves on Thursday.

And it may be like this for the entire summer.

The City of Pointe-Claire announced Wednesday the cancellation of its summer day camp program.

READ MORE: 2 more West Island municipalities cancel summer day camps, citing coronavirus concerns

“We didn’t really know if we we’re going to send her to summer camp,” Marc Kandalaft told Global News.

The father was a little nervous about allowing his daughter to play with dozens of other kids during a global pandemic.

With summer soon kicking in, Kandalaft is now shooting for other fun-filled family activities.

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“Maybe try to put in a few long weekends or few weeks away to the countryside,” he said.

Pointe-Claire is one of the latest cities to suspend all day camps this season.

The mayor admits making the call wasn’t easy, but John Belvedere insists the safety of the children and camp counsellors was paramount.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Day camps scrambling after Quebec gives them green light to open

“It was not a decision that was taken lightly. We analyzed it. We studied it. We held a meeting with council. We spent hours discussing the options and seeing if we could do it properly and safely,” he said.

Determining which summer camps on the island are open this summer really depends on where you live.

In the greater Montreal area, Global News has confirmed at least nine municipalities have cancelled their camps for the season.

At least another 11 cities are going ahead or haven’t made a final decision.

Pointe-Claire resident James Amaral supports his city’s decision to keep camps closed.

His biggest challenge now, he says, is balancing work and family life during the summer.

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“That will be difficult. There are also other home projects that we want to do so obviously one of the parents will have to take care of the kids while another person is working,” the father of two told Global News.

READ MORE: Montrealers try to stay cool and safe amid spring heatwave during COVID-19

One of the areas on the island of Montreal that is giving the green light to day camps is Senneville.

The town on the western tip of the island will allow only 28 kids to register instead of the usual 35. Strict physical-distancing measures and other restrictions to keep people safe will be enforced.

“All those security measures in terms of hand washing will be applied,” Julie Brisebois, Senneville Mayor told Global News.

And if the town gets the government’s green light to open its outdoor community pool, kids will be able to stay cool during summer camp while also staying safe.

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