Police in Montreal, Quebec continued to enforce the province's strict curfew over the weekend — in contrast to Ontario, where police were given enhanced powers of enforcement on Friday but virtually all local agencies declined to utilize them, leading to the government walking back some of the restrictions put in place.
Perhaps the most egregious enforcement of the curfew conducted by Montreal police this weekend involved a pair of families stopped while out for a walk.
Officers stopped a pair of mothers, who happened to be sisters, who were out with their children in violation of the city's 8:00 p.m. curfew. The families were returning home after observing the Jewish Sabbath.
It is not uncommon for police to patrol Jewish neighbourhoods, where religious obligations mean a large number of those in the community are more likely to be out later in the evening.
In this instance, police held the two mothers and their children up for 40 minutes on a chilly evening. It was unclear to Montreal-based Rebel Yaakov Pollak, who has been documenting the police curfew enforcement, what the delay was. Officers regularly ask those on the streets for paperwork to prove that they have “valid reason” to be outdoors after the curfew.
“Respect the curfew,” one officer told Pollak after he suggested the officers quit wasting time and issue tickets if that's what they were going to do.
“Respect human beings,” Pollak replied.
Pollak, no stranger to curfew violation tickets, is well-aware that these fines can be dished out in mere minutes should the officers feel that the situation merits a charge.
Protests against the restrictions are still a regular occurrence in Montreal, despite previous efforts by police to clamp down on the demonstrations.