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Civil liberties group questions Nova Scotia's moves to curb outbreak

A runner makes the most of a snowy morning in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.
A runner makes the most of a snowy morning in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax last month. Nova Scotia has closed parks amid the COVID-19 outbreak. - Tim Krochak

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is questioning the Nova Scotia government’s moves to close public spaces and beef up provincial border checks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The association said it has written to Chuck Porter, Nova Scotia's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to make sure “no unintentional harm occurs due to the actions of their provincial government.”

“We’ve asked for transparency and accountability for all actions, so that individuals can see the legality behind an order,” the association said in a news release. “We’ve also asked what accommodations are being made or considered for people without homes at a time where more and more public spaces are being closed.”

A state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on Sunday and remains in effect until noon on April 5. Under that declaration, people can be fined $1,000 for breaking self-isolation or social distancing rules such as using provincial parks. Businesses can be fined $7,500 per day for allowing more than five people to gather on their property or other violations of the order. 

The CCLA is also looking into the processes behind Nova Scotia’s provincial border checks and whether Canadians will be turned away.

The full letter can be found on the association's COVID-19 website


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