MONTREAL -- Nurses in Montreal’s emergency rooms are being asked to cancel their vacations in response to staff shortages in hospitals.

In an internal memo obtained by CTV News, emergency room (ER) staff at the Lakeshore General Hospital were asked to either make themselves more available over the holidays or cancel their vacations.

According to the memo, if staff did not decide on one of those options, a choice would be made for them.

“In order to maintain minimally adequate and safe coverage during this period, we have no choice but to take certain measures,” read the memo.

A staff member, who preferred to stay anonymous, said the staff shortage was the “result of a chronically mismanaged ER.”

“We are very, very short [staff],” they said.

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for the West Island CIUSSS said the situation at the Lakeshore is “demanding.”

“We must ensure service delivery and continue to deal with increases in hospitalization linked to COVID-19,” read the statement.

In recent weeks, the nurses’ union has drawn attention to a shortage of staff in the public sector, opting instead to enter the private system, where wages are generally higher.