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September 23, 2020 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

No special powers for law enforcement          

Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security Geneviève Guilbault clarified the government’s position that, despite the pandemic, police forces will not be vested with new powers allowing them to enter homes without a warrant for gatherings of more than 6 people.

What the government wants is for police officers to be able to issue on-the-spot tickets rather than having to write offence reports that are then sent to people who are not respecting the public health guidelines.

She reiterated that the police must witness the infraction in order to crack down on offenders.

Simple solutions

Minister Guilbault insists on the obligation to protect ourselves collectively, and in doing so makes our lives easier in the difficult context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The solutions are simple: respecting the clear guidelines of physical distancing, wearing masks, limiting the number of people at private or public gatherings and handwashing.

Ms Guilbault reiterated that even though young people are currently the greatest vector in the transmission of the virus and that most of them are less affected by the disease, they will eventually infect a person who is more vulnerable or someone who is a healthcare worker.

The health network is already fragile and short on staff. If we do not protect ourselves, we ultimately risk falling victim to the dramatic sequence of events involved in community contagion.