/Quebec Curfew Legal Challenge

Quebec Curfew Legal Challenge

„A curfew is particularly problematic because it allows police officers to arrest and question people simply because they are outside at certain times of the day,” Zwibel said in a statement late Friday. „The burden of these police checks is likely to fall disproportionately on racialized people and other marginalized groups.” Naia Canonne moved from Montreal to Italy during the pandemic and has been living with a 10 p.m. curfew since October. Although gatherings are banned, the prime minister said on Thursday that not everyone respected the restriction and that the curfew was another way to deter parties. Premier Francois Legault said the curfew was part of „shock therapy” aimed at relieving the health care system, which has deteriorated with the pandemic. AQPSUD has sought an injunction to end the curfew in Montreal, Gatineau and Quebec City, arguing that the curfew violates the rights of users of supervised injection sites and causes damage. Ms. Goulet also mentioned Chantal Masse`s recent decision exempting homeless people from curfews. In this case, the application of the decree caused serious harm to a vulnerable population, according to the judgment. The judge in charge of the case eventually sided with the government`s key witness, a public health doctor, who argued that the curfew was part of an overall strategy to combat the pandemic. Although the curfew was inspired for public health reasons, it has „no benefit for the entire population,” said Chantal Montmorency of AQPSUD, a Quebec association that defends and represents people who use drugs. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms permits certain legal restrictions to the extent that they are demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Quebec is the first province to impose a curfew under new restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, but its legality and effectiveness are already being questioned by health experts and civil rights groups.

„People adapted to all the other measures, but with the curfew, it was just too much,” he said. Quebec is again imposing a curfew to curb the spread of the highly contagious variant of Omicron, to protect the health care system from being invaded by patients. Quebec is the only province in Canada to use a curfew as part of its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. An earlier curfew, introduced in early January 2021, had been in place for more than five months. The letter was signed by a mix of specialists ranging from sociologists to legal experts. A man challenging the curfew in Quebec was fired in Supreme Court on Monday for failing to prove that the curfew constituted serious and irreparable harm. The curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

went into effect Friday night, a day after Premier Francois Legault announced the measure at a news conference in Montreal, as the province`s health care system was at risk of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. The curfew was eventually lifted, but the provincial government imposed a second one in December, which was lifted a few weeks later. Cara Zwibel, director of fundamental freedoms and acting lawyer for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said the government had provided no evidence that a curfew would slow the spread of the virus. The MSSS acknowledged studies that present the „negative lifestyle effects” that curfews can have, but did not specify what those effects were. The Mobile Legal Clinic argued that the homeless population is suffering serious and irreparable harm as a result of this curfew. It is alleged that Order in Council 2-2021 violated the rights protected by the Charter of Quebec and Canada insofar as it applies to the homeless. Some of these people were totally unable to comply with the curfew, while for others, compliance meant that they suffered serious harm. In addition to keeping them away from supervised injection sites, a curfew also forces a change in routine for some drug users, which can cause them to take more drugs before 9:30 p.m., the group argued. Montmorency said her organization has been working in public health for 10 years and knows how to prevent the spread of infection — and the curfew can`t. Meanwhile, the government on Saturday did not allow Quebec residents to walk their dogs during curfew — a „missing exception,” officials said the province would fix as soon as possible.

„We know about harm reduction. We know how to prevent the spread of viruses,” she said.