NEWS

Montreal judge throws out 3 P-6 fines, calls bylaw flawed

02/09/2015 09:05 EST | Updated 04/11/2015 05:59 EDT
Montreal’s municipal court has sided with three protesters who argued against being fined for breaking P-6, a controversial bylaw regulating protests.

P-6 bans protesters from wearing masks and forces them to provide a protest route to police.

Monday’s ruling is over a protest that happened on March 22, 2013. Judge Randall Richmond threw out the fines against three protesters, Patrick René, Eric Thibeault Jolin, and another demonstrator who chose to remain anonymous.

The judge ruled that the clause under which they were given the fines, Article 2.1, was improperly written.

The three men argued that the wording of the article doesn’t necessarily mean a fine should follow its infraction. As well, the fines the three received were not well-documented. One of them wasn’t even signed.

And finally, the article requires protesters to tell police about the route of the protest, but the protesters argued they could not have known the route, because they did not organize it.

Their fines, costing more than $630 each, were voided.

René pleased with result

Patrick René said he wasn’t an organizer or instigator of the protest for which he was fined. He said he was caught up in the 2013 protest as he was walking by.

He said he was pleased the judge threw out the infractions, but said he’s bitter it took so long to clear his name.

However, lawyers involved in other cases against the controversial P-6 bylaw are rejoicing after the ruling.

There are at least eight class action suits fighting fines received via P-6 and today’s ruling could set an important precedent.


 

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