Quebec’s mandatory mask rule in public indoor spaces went into effect on Saturday and not everything is going as smoothly as many thought or planned.
Sandra Bourgoin posted a video on Facebook Saturday afternoon of a man in a local Montreal Tim Hortons being asked to wear a mask by a police officer.
In the now-viral video, after several tries, the man still refused to wear a face-covering as required by government orders.
The video appears to show the officer grabbing the individual and pinning him forcefully.
Montreal police confirmed the incident occurred at the establishment on Papineau Street in the Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough at 12:35 p.m.
Officers were called on-site after the man refused to wear a mask or leave the restaurant.
According to Montreal police spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils, pepper spray was used during the arrest.
The man was eventually let go and was given a date to appear in court for resisting and/or willfully obstructing a peacekeeper.
Bourgoin, who notes the man is her boyfriend, is heard arguing with a woman — who is wearing a mask — in the restaurant.
The woman yells back at Bourgoin, who is filming the entire scene, “You’re not ashamed? Wear your mask!”
Businesses can be subject to fines between $400 and $6,000 if customers are caught violating the new rule.
But according to Marc Fortin, the president of the Retail Council of Canada, policing should not be a part of their job. Fortin said he’s looking forward to seeing what the government will implement as measures for customers.
People with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are exempted from the rule. It is unclear whether the man in the video is among the group of people exempted.
Montreal is still the epicentre for the virus with 27,863 cases and 3,431 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
— With files from Global’s Kwabena Oduro