In court Curfew challenge fails


A Gatineau resident who wanted to invalidate the curfew in Quebec in order to practice walking or jogging after 8 p.m. lost his case on Monday in the Superior Court of Quebec.

“The pandemic and its evolution constitute exceptional circumstances raising important public health issues. This situation is forcing the government to adopt measures to reduce the risk of spread, in order to protect the life and health of the population, ”Judge Dominique Goulet indicated in a decision rendered on Monday in Gatineau.

The action was brought by William Desrochers, a Gatineau resident who had some against the curfew introduced by the Quebec government on January 8. By virtue of a decree, it became forbidden for anyone to leave their home between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

However, that did not suit Mr. Desrochers, who minimizes the dangerousness of the coronavirus and who finds that the curfew is too “broad and draconian” a measure.

“It also before this measure has no rational connection with the protection of the health of the population, these activities [la marche, la course à pied et les balades en auto] not involving any contact ”, added the magistrate.

Except that even if the question raised by the Gatineau resident is serious, he has not succeeded in proving that the curfew should be suspended.

“There is a global pandemic and denying its importance seems surprising to say the least,” noted the judge while recalling that according to an expert, it was necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The judge also recalled that the curfew had been established “based on the current scientific information in its possession”.

“It is not for the court at this stage to set itself up as arbiter of the advisability of such a decision,” added the judge.

And even if Mr. Desrochers had succeeded in proving the prejudice the curfew was causing him, the public interest tipped the scales in favor of the government, he concluded.



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