Legault Wants Montreal Police To Be Less Tolerant & Hand Out More $1,000-$6,000 Tickets
- After admonishing social distancing rule-breakers, Legault asked police forces across the province, including Montreal police, to be "less tolerant" and hand out more fines.
- Individuals who gather in groups or who loiter within two meters of other people could receive tickets of between $1,000 and $6,000.
Premier Legault began his daily press conference by admonishing Quebec residents who disobey social distancing rules. He also called on the Sûreté du Québec and Montreal police to be "less tolerant" and hand out more fines to people participating in gatherings. Those fines, he said, would be between $1,000 and $6,000.
"There are people, at the moment, who do not respect the instructions. There are people who are gathering less than two meters away from [other] groups of people."
"There are businesses that do not offer essential services or products that continue to operate."
"I do not think we can accept that the vast majority of people are making an effort and that this effort will be destroyed because a few people do not take it seriously."
The Premier further underlined the severity of the situation.
"There are lives in danger, and if we continue to have rallies and businesses that operate when it is not essential, well [...] there will be deaths."
Through Montreal police have warned that they are prepared to issue fines to individuals who don't follow social distancing guidelines, the Montreal Gazette reports that they've been reluctant to issue them.
Legault's request suggests that will change.
#COVID19 Pour en savoir davantage sur la façon d’intervenir des policiers du #SPVM et connaître la façon de signale… https://t.co/z3sftdh9Da— Police Montréal (@Police Montréal) 1585681264.0
Mayor Plante has also threatened to more severely enforce public health directives.
After social media users reported large crowds in the city's public parks, the Mayor warned that the city would close them unless visitors maintained a two-meter distance from each other.
Recommended Video: COVID-19 Confirmed Cases In Canada As Of April 3rd
"This is the last chance to respect public health rules before we close some parks," she wrote in her Instagram story.
"When we take our individual responsibilities, we act for the common good."
The @SPVM ensures an increased presence and tickets will be given to offenders who do not respect the 2m distance i… https://t.co/Su3RcbuEq8— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1585769322.0
Elsewhere in Quebec, police have already begun issuing tickets.
In Gatineau, a resident earned a $1,000 fine plus fees for a gathering of friends at their apartment.
#COVID19 : Poursuite des contrôles routiers dans les régions confinées. Les citoyens collaborent très bien. Avant d… https://t.co/F473UyWuTx— Sûreté du Québec (@Sûreté du Québec) 1585510753.0
The Sûreté du Québec has also established checkpoints to stop non-essential travel between some regions, but it's unclear what if any penalties there are for violations of those travel restrictions.
Stay tuned for more news.