Does the curfew imposed by Quebec really apply to homeless people?
This is the question raised by Quebec Superior Court Judge Chantal Massey on Monday morning, who is responsible for hearing an Eternal Legal Clinic (CJI) request calling for an exemption from the curfew for the homeless.
Before hearing the arguments of the CJI and the Attorney General of Quebec, Justice Massey lived on the perpetual nature of the term “residence” used in the government decree imposing the curfew.
“Any person, between 8 and 5 o’clock at night, is prohibited from being outside his residence or what is going on in its place,” the decree states.
“Who is this ban meant for?” Asked the judge. “Does this apply well to a person who is homeless or has no place to happen?”
“Where can I see that a police officer intercepting a person under this provision can be ordered to create residence? You know, I do not do politics, but I do law. Residence is a legal concept,” Justice Massey continued, adding that there is a permanent standard associated with this concept.
The CJI called for the exemption of the homeless from the curfew because it was “unnecessary, arbitrary, unequal and brutal” and “inflicts unjustifiable serious and irreparable harm within the framework of a free and democratic society”, the petition stated.
His petition cites the case of a homeless man who was excluded from a homeless shelter due to mental health and alcohol problems and received two tickets of 1,550 tickets for violating a curfew.
“We ask them something, for most of them it’s impossible,” Mr.E Bruce Johnston, CJI lawyer. “We say to them: ‘You must be in the abode’, when they have no abode, it makes no sense.”
No shelter? No curfew
Crown Attorney, mE Eric Cantin agreed that the decree does not apply in cases where a person is not granted asylum.
Otherwise, in the event of a curfew being imposed, temporary accommodation such as a hotel or shelter should be considered as residences, Mr argued.E Canteen.
According to him, if an exception is created, it will be very difficult for the police to decide who is homeless and who is not.
Argument rejected by CJI counsel. “Do you really think the police can tell the difference between a homeless person and a homeless person? , Launch Me Johnston.
“The government felt it was unacceptable for people to be outside for long periods of time between 8pm and 5am,” Mr recalled.E Eric Contin.
Justice Massey noted that there are already exceptions to the curfew application, especially for dog owners.
The person running their dog can walk on them all night, she recognizes. “How is the police going to check if she’s a kilometer away from her residence?” She asked.
Judge Chantal Massey is awaiting further written arguments from the two attorneys. She said she would try to make her decision by the end of the week.