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Montreal police break up three large religious gatherings in Outremont in under 24 hours

A police cruiser is shown outside a synagogue in an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood in Montreal, Saturday, January 23, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Police were called to the synagogue with reports of an illegal gathering. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Montreal police responded to two large gatherings in the city’s Outremont neighbourhood on Saturday morning, their third gathering intervention in the area in under 24 hours.

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Police spokeswoman Véronique Comtois said all three gatherings were held at places of worship and involved over 10 people, the limit for indoor religious gatherings.

The incidents took place at synagogues and involved the city’s Orthodox Jewish community.

Police responded to the first gathering around 5:15 p.m. Friday, the second around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the third around two hours later at 11:45 a.m.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Legault wants to make travel harder for Quebecers as Ottawa mulls more restrictions

Comtois told Global News an arrest was made during the second intervention.

Officers took the names of people present at the scenes and will submit reports to Quebec’s office of criminal prosecutions, which will decide whether to pursue further penalties.

Quebec banned religious gatherings in its latest round of lockdowns earlier this month, but reversed the ban on Thursday after outcries from religious groups.

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Comtois said police issued three fines for curfew violations in the same area on Friday night, in incidents unrelated to the gathering earlier that evening.

–with files from the Canadian Press

Coronavirus: Legault wants to make travel harder for Quebecers as Ottawa mulls more restrictions – Jan 22, 2021

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