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A Superior Court Judge Has Officially Suspended Curfew For Homeless Quebecers

The judge explained that it is "discriminatory" to them.
Contributing Writer
A Superior Court Judge Has Officially Suspended Curfew For Homeless Quebecers

Premier François Legault's decision not to exempt homeless Quebecers from curfew has officially been overruled by a Superior Court judge.

Judge Chantal Masse explained in her ruling that the province-wide curfew acts as a major threat to the health and safety of the homeless between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. 

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[The curfew] is contrary to the right to equality of the homeless as protected by the Canadian and Quebec charters.

Judge Chantal Masse

Masse describes the act of forcing the province's homeless population to abide by curfew rules and leaving them subject to fines as "having a discriminatory and disproportionate effect" on them.

Premier Legault has previously said that if "we put in the law that a homeless person cannot get a ticket, well then anyone could say 'I'm homeless.'"

In her ruling, Masse specifies that this suspension to the curfew applies "uniquely to the homeless."

The judge explained that during curfew hours, many homeless individuals end up hiding in spaces where they believe police won't find them, in order to avoid fines.

Furthermore, Masse says that these individuals often will not go to shelters during this time, due to the fear of potentially catching COVID-19 while there. And on this note, she also mentions that many do not have proper access to shelters near them.

Legault originally claimed "there are enough spaces available" in Quebec for individuals to seek indoor shelter after 8 p.m., while refusing to exempt homeless people from curfew fines.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, in agreement with Judge Chantal Masse's decision, said "This decision will make life easier for people experiencing homelessness and for those working in the field who support them."

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