Quebec to give $5M from COVID-19 fines to crime victim support groups

Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette speaks at a news conference Thursday, March 28, 2019 at the legislature in Quebec City. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)

After handing out thousands of tickets due to COVID-19 health measure violations, Quebec has announced it plans to invest the sum of the fines into projects to help victims of criminal acts.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced on Monday that $5 million – which the government says has been collected since the start of the pandemic – will be paid into the Fonds d’aide au victimes d’actes criminels.

“The pandemic has exacerbated certain pre-existing situations among people who are victims of crime,” Barrette said in a statement. “Your government has chosen to invest this amount to support partner organizations that provide direct services to these people. This contribution aims to adapt the services that victims of crime need.”

In addition to financing projects by support organizations, the $5 million is intended to help modernize their facilities, services and intervention tools. 

A call-out for projects will be launched in the coming weeks, the government says. 

FINES

When Quebec mandated a lockdown period back in March, police services across the province began handing out hundreds of fines weekly to people who defied physical-distancing orders -- some of which totalled at around $1,500. Later, when the province began to deconfine and the wearing of masks became mandatory in closed public spaces, the government announced those who refused to wear them -- and businesses who did not enforce the measure -- would be subject to fines as well. 

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