Montreal police hand out nearly 200 tickets for illegal outings in the first weekend under curfew

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MONTREAL — Over the first weekend under curfew, police officers across Quebec handed out 750 tickets worth thousands of dollars in fines to people caught out after 8 p.m.

In Montreal, the police department said they delivered 185 tickets for at least $1,000 each.

Those tickets were split up evenly over the two nights, even as anti-curfew protesters marched in several cities across the province on Saturday.

One offender went two-for-two, being stopped twice over the weekend for violating curfew.

On the first stop, the person was given a fine of $1,550.

When they were stopped for the second time, police say they sent the case to the Crown prosecutor to determine whether another fine would be issued.

Following the announcement that the curfew would apply to homeless people, several people spoke out criticizing province for enforcing a rule that some would not be able to comply with.

The Montreal police (SPVM) say that they performed 77 interventions with homeless people over the weekend, but only handed out one ticket.

“It was a special situation; it was a last resort,” said SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant. “That person was arrested for drug possession.”

Montreal police say the majority of stops were made before 11 p.m., and most of the fines were for around $1,000.

Brabant said the more expensive fines are reserved for organizers of illegal gatherings.

“A church, or a party,” he said.

From Jan. 4 to 10, the SPVM said they received 800 calls for COVID-19 protocol violations, and gave out 297 tickets overall, including those for curfew violations.

The Surete du Quebec (SQ), the provincial police force, told CTV News that some drivers were taking advantage of the empty highways to drag race, then posting videos of themselves doing it to social media.

On Saturday, only 26 tickets were handed out by SQ officers.

— with files from CTV News videojournalist Kelly Greig

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