Students fined for loitering in Quebec park

Students fined for loitering in Quebec park

Main pic: Le parc de l’Amérique-Française à Québec, vu du boulevard René-Lévesque. Photo credit: Malimage.

Quebec City (Quebec) 17 July 2015 – In the wee hours of July 6th, a group of students (make that 7) who had spent the night enjoying the summer festivities going on in the Quebec region were gathered together to talk about their evening in a city park by the name of Parc de l’Amerique Française. It was 4:30 am and the young students had had no alcohol, no drugs and were listening to some music being played on a cell phone.

Two police officers approached the group, asked for their ID and then returned with a $220 ticket for each individual. The fines handed out were based on a recent by-law implemented in 2012, which prohibits people from sleeping, loitering or even being in a city park between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am the next day.

The students were understandably upset and are questioning the actions of the police. Their argument is based on (according to the students) the officers never asking any questions or suggesting they leave the park, which they would have voluntarily done without hesitation.

One of the students Frédéric Roy-Audy, is considering protesting the fine and wants to know why they weren’t asked to leave the park before being fined. It appears to be a case of false assumption on the part of the police and M. Roy-Audy wants some answers.

The spokesperson for the Quebec Municipal Police Department seems to think that it would be normal for the police to ask someone to leave a park rather than just write up a ticket, but so far the department’s version of the story has not been heard.

There is also the definition of a park in question. Parc de l’Amerique Française has no fences, no restrictions, and is crisscrossed with pedestrian paths to reach bus stops and different exits.

The Quebec City branch of the human rights and liberties league may also become involved in the case.

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