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TVA reporter Kariane Bourassa (centre) | Twitter

Quebec government denounces anti-mask protesters, appeals to youth

“We will no longer tolerate situations like this.”

In a press conference this afternoon, Quebec Deputy Premier and Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault appealed to young people and the fringe anti-mask movement in Montreal across the province to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Guilbault said that while the pandemic situation in Quebec is generally under control, there has been an alarming spike in cases in the 15 to 34 age group, a trend that is present in provinces across Canada.

anti-mask Quebec Geneviève Guilbault
Quebec Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault denounces anti-mask protesters, appeals to youth

“You must not let your guard down,” Guilbault said. “I understand your desire to go out and socialize but you must do so while respecting the guidelines. And please don’t hesitate to get tested if you have symptoms. Be pro-active.

“You are the most targeted group right now, so maybe you can put in a bit of extra effort,” she added.

The Deputy Premier also made reference to the demonstrations that happened in Quebec City and Montreal over the weekend, wherein TVA reporters were berated and physically accosted by anti-mask protesters.

“I was particularly shocked to see protesters insulting and intimidating journalists,” Guilbault said. “We will no longer tolerate situations like this. If someone acts in complete disdain of these health measures, there are things we can do right now,” she added, referring to fines that are tied to bylaws currently in place due to COVID-19.

Guilbault stressed that while the province doesn’t wish to impede the public’s right to protest and express free speech, they will draw the line when others are endangered.

“Nobody has the right to put everybody else’s health in danger.” ■

For the latest COVID-19 (Coronavirus) info for Quebec, please visit the Santé Quebéc website.

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