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Quebec lawyer sues government for violating rights during COVID-19 crisis
MONTREAL -- A Mont-Saint-Hilaire lawyer is asking the Quebec Superior Court to annul the laws Quebec has adopted to fight the spread of COVID-19 such as closing schools, prohibiting gatherings and shutting down sections of the economy.
Citing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Constitution of 1867 and the Magna Carta, Jean-Felix Racicot argues that Quebecers have been “deprived of his rights and freedoms” by the government’s actions, according to a habeas corpus argument filed in the Saint-Hyacinthe court April 20.
The lawyer argues that the Legault government’s isolation and containment policies enacted since the public-health emergency was declared March 13 violate rights and were enacted without proper democratic debate.
The Public Health Act allows for a ten-day emergency period that can be renewed, but requires National Assembly approval for periods when the number of days hits 30.
Racicot argues that there must be a democratic debate by elected officials before depriving citizens of their liberties for long periods of time.
The lawyer argues that decrees from March, April and May should be annulled.
“It is clear that fundamental rights and freedoms have been violated,” writes Racicot.
The lawyer also suggests that the government overestimated the impact of COVID-19, and relied on models that were alarmist, and that the government “fabricated the crisis to change society.”
The case could be heard by Friday.