Many Montreal organizations united their voices Monday evening to oppose the curfew put in place last Saturday, which they believe will have little impact on the fight against the pandemic while disproportionately affecting the homeless and others. vulnerable people.
Representatives of more than a dozen community groups met at 6:30 p.m. at one end of Place Émilie-Gamelin, a green space in the city center in front of which is the Hôtel Place Dupuis, which the City of Montreal has transformed. this winter in an emergency shelter that can accommodate around 380 homeless people. The event ended around 7:30 p.m., shortly before the curfew began.
Dr. Nazila Bettache, from collective care for social justice, was the first to speak among the various representatives of organizations who marched for an hour, under the gaze of several dozen citizens gathered at the corner of rue Saint-Hubert and boulevard de Maisonneuve.
“Our fear is that the curfew will have an impact on communities that are already marginalized,” said Ms. Bettache, who is a doctor in Montreal, in an interview with Metro on the sidelines of this event. She was referring, among other things, to the homeless and essential workers who continue to move to their places of work. In some cases, these are immigrant workers with precarious status.
“All these people who risk suffering the negative impacts of the criminalization of their lives and their movements,” she added.
Concerns for the homeless
These organizations fear that many homeless people will be fined $ 1,550 if they walk outside after 8 p.m. in the coming weeks. The finding can climb to $ 6,000 in the event of a repeat offense.
In the last few days, the Legault government assured that the police will show tolerance in the application of the curfew. The police will guide the homeless in particular to the shelters in place.
More details to come.