Only a few days after a large number of Montrealers called out mayoral candidate Denis Coderre's proposal to ban park drinking at night, he himself flip-flopped on the issue.
Coderre, whose suggestion to impose an 8 p.m. drinking ban in parks has been intensely scrutinized and even mocked by fellow mayoral candidates, had said that this move would "help citizens regain a sense of calm."
In a statement posted to Twitter on June 2, Coderre deplored the "violence on the territory of Montreal, particularly in the parks and in the streets" and criticized Plante's administration as "laissez-faire."
"Police need tools," he wrote. "Temporary measures should be advocated until Montreal gets back to normal."
On Wednesday, MTL Blog asked Coderre's team whether he thought the drinking curfew proposal would deter young Montrealers from voting for him in the next election but did not receive a response.
Montreal mayoral candidate Balarama Holness called out Coderre's drinking curfew plan as a "discriminatory policy that would disproportionately affect young people, marginalized folks, and low-income or unhoused populations in Montreal."
In a statement, Holness said that "the rationale behind Coderre’s proposed ban — to 'make sure everybody feels safe' — elides histories of racial and social profiling in the city that were made abundantly clear in the OCPM’s report on systemic racism and discrimination in Montreal."
The statement cited "violence on the territory of Montreal, especially in the parks and on the streets" as justification for the move.
As the city's red zone curfew lifted this past weekend, large groups of young Montrealers flocked to the Old Port and downtown — some were seen crowd surfing, jumping off city art fixtures and partying.
However, Coderre's team said his proposed curfew could be temporary.
"The police need tools, even temporary ones, such as a ban on alcohol consumption at 8 p.m., [...] temporary measures should be advocated until Montreal gets back to normal," the statement said.
Plante says Coderre's comments would penalize families and young Montrealers
According to TVA Nouvelles, Mayor Valérie Plante said Coderre's proposal is "very disconnected from reality."
"A proposal [like this] would mostly penalize families and youth," Plante said.
She said implementing a curfew on alcohol and forcing Montrealers to drink in a home is less safe than being able to drink in a park outdoors.
"Sixty percent of Montrealers have no yards and [we'll] say, 'No, the parks aren't for you, go [drink] in a basement,' [...] when we know it's much more secure to be outside," she said.
MTL Blog asked Coderre's team whether he thinks his curfew proposal would deter young Montrealers from voting for him in the next election but did not receive a response.
Another 522 emergency calls were made to the police related to health infractions.
Montrealers who are used to rushing home before the 8 p.m. curfew will be happy to know that they'll have an extra hour and a half starting on Monday. Quebec's health authorities announced a 9:30 p.m. curfew as of May 3.
Premier François Legault announced that Montreal's 8 p.m. curfew would be reinstated as of April 11. While Quebec curfew exceptions range from emergencies to essential work and humanitarian travel, the province has added one more to its list.
According to the Quebec government's website, "a person who must go to or from a vaccination clinic" is permitted to be out of their home after 8:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., depending on the region in which they are located.
Evening vaccine appointments are reportedly set to launch in Quebec City on April 10.
Quebecers with vaccine appointments during curfew hours should carry proof they can show police on the way to their appointment, as well as confirmation of their second-dose appointment on the way home.