As the health orders gradually fall, those who have ignored the decrees and challenged their violation now find themselves in court. And their sometimes crazy or incredible excuses struggle to win the sympathy of the judges, who usually fine them between $1,000 and $1,500. The newspaper gives you ten excuses that have failed in court.
• Also read: COVID-19 report: 22 new deaths and sharp drop in hospital admissions in Quebec
IT CARRIES A LITTLE TOO MUCH
When worker Alexis Legendre was caught during lockdown in Cookshire, Estrie, he had the perfect excuse: he was returning from Montreal, where he’d been working late. Except that Montreal-Sherbrooke is done in less than three hours, and at the time of his arrest there was no way he hadn’t dragged on too long. He could not explain himself and therefore had to pay.
A NECK WARMER THAT ONLY COVER THE NECK
Isabelle Courcy thought she was thwarting authorities by wearing a neck warmer as a face covering to comply with the obligation to cover oneself during a September 2020 demonstration. But she should have worn that piece of cloth at the level of her nose and mouth, instead of… just around her neck. She tried to claim he slipped when the officer saw her.
ALL REASONS ARE GOOD (OR NOT)
Intercepted during the hours of the curfew in Magog, Mélanie Houde tried everything to get out of it, citing in turn a lack of fuel, a wrong call to the CAA or even the purchase of a property that could not be sold anyway at that time. He took it amiss that the woman was not released.
A WORKOUT THAT STRONG
Going to a friend who has the internet to take essential online training for his job is a good excuse to ignore the lockdown. But using it to “relax” and extend time away from home is not, recalled the judge who sentenced Yannick Rousson.
A NEED NOT SO NEEDED
Bread and milk may be necessary for a healthy diet, but not so much as to justify breaking the curfew. Michael Denis learned this the hard way in January 2021 while walking into a supermarket in Sherbrooke.
Since buying groceries to prepare his lunch the next day was not among the exceptions provided for in the decrees, he was found guilty.
A MYSTERIOUS MESSAGE DOES NOT COME FIRST
Kaven Begnoche was confident he could get away with his concrete arguments, including a statement from the National Council of Common Law Assemblies found “in a hidden place on the internet,” the proclamation of which can be purchased on Amazon for $10 . However, he learned that this notice did not replace the decrees, so he had to pay for the September 2020 maskless protest.
MAPLE PRODUCTS IN A FURNITURE SHOP
A furniture store in the Mégantic region thought it could circumvent the closure of non-essential shops early in the pandemic by also selling maple products. The sleight of hand failed, so Meubles Rousseau inc. will have to pay his fine.
A NON-ESSENTIAL HEART PUMP
Pierre Héroux seemed to have a good excuse to ignore the January 2021 lockdown. Cardiac said he was looking for his nitroglycerin pump, which he lost during the day, when he was arrested by police in the middle of the night. However, when he assured that his pain subsided with taking aspirin and that he was not in imminent danger, he was found guilty.
TOO CLOSE TO THE DEMONSTRATION
Carrying a flag with a sheep logo, Sabrina Noël was trying to convince the court she wasn’t yet at a protest when she was arrested in a public car park in December 2020, so she wasn’t yet in hiding. However, the dispute made Potato before the judiciary, which was not impressed by the argument.
THE POLICE AND THE DRIVER DID NOT PLOT
When Patrick Gévry and Nicole Gagné were intercepted in a taxi during curfew in Granby, they claimed the driver and police were in league to catch them. Not surprisingly, their argument didn’t work.