Quebec is postponing the Council of the Federation meeting it was set to host this summer because of COVID-19.

The summer premiers’ gathering was set to take place from July 22 to July 24 at the Château Frontenac, but will now be put off until the fall.

Quebec is the epicentre of COVID-19 in the country with more than 4,000 deaths — more than half of the deaths registered in Canada.

The meeting was to be the first hosted by the province since 2008.

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Premier François Legault said in a statement the decision to postpone was made after careful consideration and taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Legault said the crisis has strengthened the resolve of premiers to continue collaborating.

“As we work towards economic recovery, I look forward to hosting my provincial and territorial counterparts in the fall to continue our successful co-operation,” Legault said.