Provincial police are not pulling punches when it comes to enforcing the provincewide curfew, even going as far as ticketing 11-year-old Matthew Stephen-Gauthier.
Well, actually, officials issued the infraction to Matthew’s nearly life-size cutout, which stands at the end of the driveway of his family’s Ile-Bizard home.
“Once I heard there was a $10,000 ticket on cardboard Matthew, I said, ‘Oh my god,’” Matthew said.
Three nights into the curfew and already hundreds of tickets issued, this one was obviously not real.
Written by hand in black marker, police left the exorbitant $10,000 fine with the jumping poster boy, affectionally known as ‘Flat Matthew,’ for being outside past the 8 p.m. curfew.
“The kid just wouldn’t come in,” mother Sebrina Jones-Gauthier said.
The two police officers, tongue-in-cheek, took pictures with the rebellious curfew breaker with smiles behind their masks.
“We had a fun time. They even flashed their light,” Jones-Gauthier said.
She hoped to spark some joy in dark times by placing the sign outside as a clever, fun way to bring a smile to local law enforcement.
“I wanted to give them a laugh and a smile at night, and say thank you because I appreciate what they do for the community,” Jones-Gauthier said.
The owner of a graphic design company, Jones-Gauthier created the cutout of her son for one of Matthew’s friends’ birthday parties, which he could not attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Matthews says he knew it was a joke but added that he doesn’t make enough in allowance to cover the fee.
SPVM police aren’t strangers to ticket pranks.
In January 2018, a life-size snow sculpture of a DeLorean was given a fine by police.
Global News reached out to the SPVM but has not received comment.
Premier François Legault announced Monday that 740 Quebecers were fined between $1,000 and $6,000 over the weekend for breaking Quebec’s curfew.
Legault has ordered people not to leave their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. until Feb. 8 unless authorized, in an extreme measure to cut transmission of COVID-19.
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