COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS vs CIVIL LIBERTIES News

Quebec Superior Court suspends COVID-19 curfew on homeless

 QUEBEC – Justice Chantal Masse of the Quebec Superior Court today suspended the application that imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the homeless. 

This means until Feb. 5, 2021, the curfew no longer applies to people who are homeless.

The Superior Court Judge ruled that the curfew discriminates and disproportionately hurts the homeless. Justice Masse said the curfew poses a threat to the health and safety of the homeless because many homeless hide from police to avoid fines.

Many homeless feared getting COVID-19 in homeless shelters. Montreal’s homeless shelters have had several outbreaks.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault refused to give the homeless an exemption to the curfew, claiming police would use discretion in not handing out fines. Justice Masse, however, said evidence showed tickets were given to the homeless regardless.

The Mobile Legal Clinic, which protects the rights and well-being of people who are homeless during the pandemic, welcomed the decision. They would like to thank the law firm Trudel Johnston and Lespérance for representing the Mobile Legal Clinic pro bono.