For immediate release
Montréal, May 26, 2021 – The Ligue des droits et libertés (LDL) is launching a declaration today to ask the Quebec government to end the state of emergency that has prevailed in Quebec since March 13, 2020. Civil society organizations will be asked directly by LDL to support this declaration.
« The LDL does not question the need to manage and contain the pandemic through rigorous measures, some of which are still relevant, as demonstrated by Public Health. However, between the spring of 2020 and today, LDL notes that the situation has changed: the citizens of Quebec have learned a lot from the pandemic and are resolutely committed to fighting it. And the scientific literature tells us that we will have to live with the virus in the future, » says Alexandra Pierre, President of LDL.
« The state of health emergency leads to an intense concentration of power and suspends democratic debate around the sanitary measures. The health emergency is a state of exception designed for an exceptional situation taking place in the short term. At the time of reopening, the sanitary measures required to fight the pandemic, however legitimate they may be, must receive the attention of the National Assembly for validation. « Quebec, like other societies, will be entering a new ‘normal’, » continued Ms. Pierre.
As of May 26, 2021, the state of emergency has been renewed at least 60 times. Since the resumption of business in the National Assembly, items related to COVID-19 have been removed from the work of parliamentarians.
The numerous decrees and orders adopted by the Quebec government since the initial declaration of a health emergency in March 2020 highlight the government’s lack of consideration for human rights and the principle of their interdependence. The fault lines have been revealed and amplified by the state of emergency, with dramatic repercussions for children and their parents, workers with precarious status, seniors, as well as racialized, precarious or marginalized populations who have found themselves at the heart of this crisis. « If the legitimacy of having health measures is not in question, the suspension of political accountability mechanisms has serious consequences for rights and freedoms. « says Philippe Néméh-Nombré, Vice-president of the LDL.
The objective of the declaration launched today by the LDL is to put democratic debate back at the heart of our society. « Quebec, which is distinguished by the strength of its community fabric, must regain its vitality and leadership. And to this end, governance by decree and by order is a major obstacle that must be removed immediately. Health measures determined by our public health experts will continue to be necessary in the long term. However, local communities and institutions must be given back the right to act and influence their deployment, » concludes Catherine Descoteaux, LDL’s coordinator.
LDL is asking the Quebec government to end the state of health emergency in Quebec without further delay.
About the Ligue des droits et libertés
The LDL is a non-profit, independent and non-partisan organization, born of Quebec civil society and affiliated with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). For more than 50 years, it has advocated for the defense and promotion of all human rights recognized by the International Bill of Human Rights.
For information and interviews:
Elisabeth Dupuis, Communications Officer, Ligue des droits et libertés
C : 514 715-7727