Quebec opposition parties are against police entering homes to break up gatherings
MONTREAL -- The opposition Liberal and PQ parties have come out as opposed to police interventions in Quebec homes to enforce public health rules.
Premier Francois Legault spoke on Wednesday about the possible use of police forces, since illegal private gatherings and parties are the most significant cause of the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec.
Currently, police need reasonable grounds to enter a home and they apply for a warrant that needs to be signed by a judge. Once that happens, they can go into a home when not invited.
The government is mulling the idea of allowing police to fast-track that process to more of an "on-the-spot warrant."
The official Liberal opposition and the Parti Quebecois (PQ) believe, however, that it is still too early to resort to that. Liberal leader Dominique Anglade said the government must first better inform the population before going there.
"This is something that is very radical," said Anglade. "If you're ready to send police officers to people's homes, this is a serious decision to make. The situation right now is, we don't have all the information from the government.. Before the government goes ahead, they really need to explain, what is the situation, how critical it is and why they would decide to go down this path. "
PQ health spokesperson Joel Arseneau said politicians can no longer ask people to obey blindly with a discourse based on fear. He said the government needs toraise awareness first.
Since the spring, the Quebec prosecutors office has handed out $5.3 million worth of fines for people violating health guidelines.
--With files from The Canadian Press.