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The curfew was justified, says the Court of Quebec | COVID-19: everything about the pandemic

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The curfew had made Montreal look like a ghost town.


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A judge of the Court of Quebec confirms that the imposition curfew during the COVID-19 pandemic was reasonable given the public health context.

The judge Marie-France Beaulieu ruled Tuesday that the curfew, which forced Quebecers to stay indoors from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., violated rights protected by the Canadian Charter such as the freedom of x27;expression and meeting.

Nonetheless, she added that these violations were reasonable and justified given the public health context.

< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">The pandemic and the meteoric increase in cases [of COVID-19] constitute exceptional circumstances raising public health issues. This situation forced the government to adopt measures to reduce the risks of spread in order to protect the life and health of the population.

A quote from Extract from the judgment of Marie-France Beaulieu< /blockquote>

In other words, as no one could predict with certainty what the long-term impacts of the upheavals caused by COVID-19 would be, it was necessary to take appropriate measures, including the use of a curfew.

COVID-19: all about the pandemic

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COVID-19: all about the pandemic

Consult the complete file


The defendants in this case, Stéphanie Pépin and seven other people, had contravened the curfew by demonstrating after 8 p.m. in Amos, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, in January 2021 and had contested it&#x27 ;application based on the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights and Freedoms.

The protest was supported by the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, based in Calgary.

Lawyer Olivier Séguin, who represented Ms. Pépin, said he would appeal the decision. He argued that it was obvious that the authorities had no constitutional basis on which to act.

All eight defendants were ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 within six months.

Quebec resorted to curfews twice during the pandemic. The first lasted for almost five months, from January 9, 2021 to May 28, 2021. The second curfew began on New Year's Eve 2022 and ended on January 17, 2022. Failure to comply with the curfew resulted in fines ranging from $1000 to $6000.

Quebec was the only province to prohibit its citizens from going out at home at night during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The judge heard testimony from senior officials of the public health of Quebec at the time, including Dr. Horacia Arruda, former director of public health, and Dr. Richard Massé, another public health official.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">In her decision, Justice Beaulieu declared that the global pandemic constituted an exceptional context. The government, she explained, had to plan and provide a reasonable framework for social activities and interactions, hence the adoption of specific measures.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Adaptation of a text from CBC

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116