~ by Chris #16 Demaras ~
From the day I turned 16, one of my favourite things to do was to take a drive. Not necessarily with any specific destination. Just go for a drive. I read an article on Jalopnik today where the author describes the almost therapeutic value of driving aimlessly north of Toronto. So…I know I’m not alone in this custom.
As a teenager, I can’t count how many times I would get in my car with a buddy, drive downtown to Lakeshore Blvd, make the right at the base of Yonge St and just drive all the way to Hwy 7, past the city limits. During the earliest days of the pandemic, with not much else to do, my son Daniel and I would drive out to interesting roads around the GTA like the Forks of the Credit, or the Old Finch Bridge.
So when I heard about the curfew in Quebec, where citizens won’t be allowed out of their homes between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am (not even to go for a drive) it bothered me. I’m a freedom loving person; not quite a libertarian, but a strong believer in the rights of the individual. If bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theatres (where people congregate) have to be closed to prevent community spread, I reluctantly understand. But is it really necessary to prevent an individual from firing up their car and going for a drive?
Just the images of Montreal this weekend were haunting.
In Quebec, for the next month, acceptable reasons for being outside include:
- People going to and coming from work, or a work-related activity.
- Parents picking up teenagers from work.
- People going to or coming from an education activity at a recognized school such as a night class or lab.
- People who work in the transportation of goods sector.
- People who are providing necessary health services to someone else, or attending the bedside of a sick family member.
- Driving someone to a medical appointment, either a child or someone who can’t drive themselves.
- People who require immediate medical attention, or have an appointment with a dentist or optometrist.
- People who are dropping kids off to comply with a custody agreement or parental visitation.
- People who are coming from or going to train stations or airports for travel.
- People who are shopping for essential items that cannot be deferred (ex. pharmacies).
- People who are walking their dog within 1 km of their home.
Those who are circulating during curfew hours may be stopped by police and asked to provide proof of their reason for travel.