SHERBROOKE, QUEBEC – Just when you thought you heard it all during the pandemic, one couple in Canada has raised the bar. The couple was fined for the woman “walking” her partner on a leash to get around a controversial pandemic curfew.
On Saturday, the province imposed a nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in response to rising COVID-19 numbers. The curfew prohibits Quebec residents from leaving their homes during those hours but includes several exceptions.
— CTV Montreal (@CTVMontreal) January 13, 2021
One of the exceptions includes “a person who must go out so that his dog can do its business, within a radius of no more than one kilometer from the person’s place of residence or temporary residence.”
Police spotted the couple walking outside at approximately 9 p.m., shortly after the curfew went into effect. When confronted, the couple told the police they were not violating the curfew because the woman was walking her “dog.”
8pm curfew alarm in Quebec sounds like a zombie apocalypse. Could they not have found a better sound? pic.twitter.com/39gpAWoIM6
— Rob Martin (@WyteNight) January 10, 2021
The woman was walking her partner on a leash on King Street East in Sherbrooke. Police said the couple were not cooperative with the police and said they were happy to receive the fine.
Isabelle Gendron, spokesperson for Sherbrooke Police Service, said:
“The couple did not collaborate with the police at all. Statements of violation of the municipal by-law were given to them. The lady affirmed that she would not pay the ticket and even that she would accumulate them. The amount of the findings for recidivism can go up to $ 6,000 ($4,725.76 US).”
The couple was fined $1,500 each for the violation. During the first week of the curfew, Quebec police handed out 750 tickets fining people thousands of dollars. In Montreal alone, police issued 185 violations carrying fines of at least $1,000 each.
Anyone in Quebec caught outside between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. can face a hefty fine, with very few exceptions. Homelessness is not one of them. https://t.co/fCuodxMasT
— CBC News (@CBCNews) January 8, 2021
The curfew has been controversial in Quebec, especially a provision that made the curfew apply to homeless people. The Premier of Quebec, Francois Legault, claimed there were enough beds in Montreal to house the homeless. However, homeless shelter workers disagree.
Montreal Indigenous Community Network worker Amanda Moniz said:
“”There are absolutely not enough beds, and this response proves to us that the premier is completely out of touch with reality.”
Civil rights advocates have expressed concerns about the curfew. They claim the curfew is not supported by science, and they are concerned it will be enforced disproportionately against vulnerable people and on racial lines.
Every cell phone in Quebec, Canada just got this emergency alert: “police surveillance has been increased”. The curfew is an unconstitutional disgrace. We are opening a Quebec office of our https://t.co/94EkUTpA5G project and we will provide free lawyers in English & French. pic.twitter.com/8lvpiDCObS
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) January 9, 2021
Canadian Civil Liberties Association Executive Director Michael Bryant said there are concerns the enforcement will target black, indigenous, homeless, and poor people:
“I think you’re going to see people being ticketed, basically, for being poor and homeless, not because they’re a public health risk.”
Public safety Minister Genevieve Guilbault said the curfew applies to everyone, regardless of background, and that anyone found on the street after 8 p.m. should expect to be stopped and questioned by police. She added:
officers will make individual decisions regarding enforcement and need to use discretion when deciding who gets ticketed:
“We don’t want to give fines just for the sake of giving fines. The main goal is to help them find a place in a shelter and help them in general and protect them.
— Cosmo Santamaria (@cosmoCTV) January 11, 2021
Montreal police (SPVM) issued a statement Thursday saying they will strictly enforce the curfew but will take people’s circumstances into consideration:
“The SPVM recognizes the seriousness of the current situation and the importance of ensuring compliance with the public health measures announced by the government. The SPVM will see to the deployment of the necessary staff for the rigorous application of these measures,” the force said in a statement.
“When the decree is sent to the SPVM, it will be the subject of an analysis by legal affairs in order to specify the scope of the police powers in connection with these new provisions.
“The SPVM would like to point out that a preventive and adapted approach will be favored for people in vulnerable situations, given the limits associated with judicialization in certain circumstances.”
SPVM said they performed 77 “interventions” with homeless people over the weekend but only handed out one ticket. SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Bragant said:
“It was a special situation; it was a last resort. That person was arrested for drug possession.”
— CP24 (@CP24) January 6, 2021
Montreal police say the majority of stops were made before 11 p.m., and most of the fines were for around $1,000. Bragant said that the most expensive fines are reserved for organizers of unlawful gatherings such as “a church or a party.”
The curfew will remain in effect until February 8.
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Thousands of Californians hit the streets to protest Gov. Newsom’s latest curfew order, show support for President Trump
November 23, 2020
CALIFORNIA – On Saturday, November 21st, thousands of people in 16 different California cities took to the streets in defiance of Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest nighttime curfew orders requiring people to stay at home after 10 p.m.
According to reports, protestors carried Trump/Pence flags and “Open up California” banners as the marched through the streets. At 10:01 p.m., crowds began to gather in various cities across the state, including Huntington Beach and San Clemente.
Fox News reported that in Huntington Beach, a crowd of about 400, dubbing themselves “curfew breakers,” gathered in front of the city’s main pier to protest the curfew that took effect at 10 p.m. Around midnight, the crowd shrunk in size.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 22, 2020
In Fresno, dozens of people gathered at the River Park Shopping Center to protest the recent curfew restrictions. A protester told ABC 30 that the curfew will not make a difference in keeping people safe and is only going to hurt small businesses. The woman said:
“Look at the businesses across the state. It’s very hard for small businesses, especially in this state. I just think it’s ridiculous. They’re going about this all the wrong way.”
ABC 30 also reported that several law enforcement agencies across the valley, including the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, will not be policing or citing individuals who break the state’s latest curfew order.
Officials in Los Angeles County, the state’s largest population with about 10 million people, recently announced that all dining at restaurants, bars, and wineries will be halted beginning on Wednesday, November 25th.
In response, a protest was held outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence, in a demonstration bill called, “Curfew Protest Block Party: No More Lockdown.” According to city officials, the new restrictions will last for three weeks.
BREAKING: L.A. County announces they will restrict all dining (outdoor included) at restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries beginning Wednesday at 10pm. Our 5 day case average has now crossed 4,000. If things get worse, we will return to a March style lockdown. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/YepxeBUe4N
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 22, 2020
During the next three weeks, the establishments can only offer take-out, drive thru, and/or delivery services. Wineries and breweries will be allowed to continue their retail operations, provided they adhere to current protocols.
During one of the weekend protests in San Clemente, Syndie Ly, who helped organize the protest said:
“Governor Newsom’s sweeping edicts by moving 95 percent of California to purple tier and a curfew is an abuse of power. We are all responsible adults so we can make our individual choices.”
“This movement is about us rising up for our freedom and against Governor Newsom’s overreaching edicts.”
LISTEN: @Kevin_Faulconer responds after hundreds of people gathered in Southern California to protest the new curfew imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases #nine2noon pic.twitter.com/CDUXJzQ6GE
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) November 23, 2020
Nancy Vu-Kerr, who took part in the Huntington Beach protest said:
“This is tyrannical and government overreach on behalf of Gavin Newsom and other Democrat governors. The American people, as well as citizens of other countries need to stand up against this.”
“Our freedoms are truly at risk and all we need to do is look at the history of my mother country of Vietnam and other countries of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, and others.”
Still going strong here in Huntington Beach, CA protesting Newsom’s “curfew.” 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/raCzuQkqNY
— Trevor 🇺🇸 (@SoCal4Trump) November 22, 2020
Russ Taylor, who helped organize the protests, said that the bottom line is freedom. He said:
“We, as citizens, should be responsible, but we shouldn’t be so fearful that we line in a bubble and lose our personal liberties.”
Rick Brown, who just finished running the successful campaign of Tito Ortiz for Huntington Beach City Council said that people are fed up. He said:
“The event last night was over 1,000 patriots pushing back against the undeclared ‘martial law’ coming from Gavin Newsom, who had the audacity to declare all Californians be indoors by 10 p.m. Well guess what? We will NOT play in his sandbox anymore.”
Push Back in CA!
'Curfew Breakers' Protest In Huntington Beach California pic.twitter.com/wBbxb0ER91
— Nashville Tea Party (@NashvilleTea) November 22, 2020
“Curfew Crashers” protests were planning in San Clemente, Yorba Linda, Huntington Beach, Riverside, Temecula, Brentwood, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Patterson, Redlands, Sacramento, San Diego, La Quinta, and Beverly Hills. The flyers for each protest said:
“If you are a free American join us for a clear act of defiance against Newsom’s 10 p.m. stay at home order.”
Every county in the LA region has said that they will not enforce the curfew. The curfew applies to 41 of the state’s 58 counties that are in the “purple” tier. Those counties encompass 94 percent of the nearly 40 million people living in the most populous U.S. state.
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