Quebec City suburb nixes anti-scarf bylaw

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMtao.ca
Thu Mar 8 16:46:36 MST 2001


Mar. 7, 2001. 12:36 PM  The Toronto Star

Quebec City suburb nixes anti-scarf bylaw
Mayor reverses ban aimed at Summit of the Americas protesters

QUEBEC (CP) - A bylaw passed by a Quebec City suburb to bar people from
concealing their faces with scarves or masks at the Summit of the Americas
has been scrapped.

Ste-Foy Mayor Andree Boucher said she ''listened to her conscience'' and
decided to respect individual rights and the presumption of innocence.

''Too often in other countries, laws have been abusively applied,'' she
said yesterday.

The bylaw, adopted for the April 20-22 summit in Quebec City, had made it
illegal to ''wear or have in your possession a mask, hood or ski mask, or
any other object of the same nature to cover one's face, in whole or in
part.''

A civil liberties group had said the bylaw could have given police a reason
to detain protesters unnecessarily.

''We agree summit-goers should be able to go about their work peacefully,
but people also need to be able to gather freely and express themselves,''
Andre Paradis, head of Quebec's Ligue des Droits et Libertes, said recently.

Police had said that even though the summit is to be held in downtown
Quebec City, they feared protesters would cause trouble at the airport,
which is in neighbouring Ste-Foy.

Security will be tight at the summit, where international free trade deals
and globalization will be discussed. Five thousand police officers will be
on hand for the event.



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Macdonald Stainsby
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