Montreal police give curfew ticket to soup kitchen regular client

SPVM

Montreal police are being called out again for their judgment when issuing curfew tickets - this one to a regular client of a homeless resource center and soup kitchen in the South West borough.

"We consider him to be in a very precarious situation," said Andréane Désilets, executive director of the Benedict Labre House food bank in St-Henri.

Désilets said the man given the $1550 ticket Tuesday night is a regular who was on his way in his pyjamas to their warming shelter when police stopped him. It happened at 1 a.m. near Notre Dame and Atwater where workers from the center picked him up in a van that makes the rounds at night helping the homeless in the area.

"Anybody in their pyjamas going out and looking in garbage (bins) -for me that's a situation where somebody should not be ticketed and at least brought into a center or have a little empathy to the situation," said Désilets.

That's one of the reasons why lawyer Dylan Jones said he's offering his services for free to homeless shelters to help contest such tickets. He has one case already.

Jones said he was angry and upset when he heard about homeless people and street kids being ticketed for hanging around on the street and in parks during the first lockdown last spring - the new curfew prompted even more concerns.

"Giving huge monetary punishments to people who have nothing or who have very little is not an effective remedy," said Jones in an interview with CJAD 800.

"It's to send a message too, that we shouldn't treat people this way."

Montreal police won't comment on specific cases, only saying that police use discretion when people have to justify breaking curfew.

The force had been criticized for ticketing a homeless man earlier this week during curfew in connection with a drug related offence.

 

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