Local police forces say they will not randomly stop people

Ruben Fields
April 19, 2021

Ontario Provincial Police say their operations did not change on Saturday after the Ontario government announced and then revised new police powers to enforce the provincial stay-at-home order.

Several municipal police forces across the province, including the Ottawa Police Service, said Friday and Saturday that they would not be conducting "random" stops of pedestrians or drivers to enforce the stay-at-home order.

The measures place more restrictions on outdoor gatherings, grant police new powers, and cap limits on the size of weddings, funerals, and religious services.

Ottawa police say they will have officers stationed at all five interprovincial bridges and two ferries linking the Outaouais and Ottawa.

The decision comes just hours after federal Health Minister Patty Hadju said Canadian provinces have the go-ahead to expand the AstraZeneca roll-out.

When they are followed, the public health measures work.

The Ontario government announced Friday afternoon that police in the province would have the authority to stop anyone who is outdoors and demand their address and a reason why they were outside.

"Doug Ford's handling of this pandemic has been an abject failure and absolute disaster", said Patty Coates, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour.

Police will also now have the authority to ask anyone outside their residence to indicate their goal for leaving home and provide their address.

Toronto-based journalist and author Desmond Cole criticized the enhanced powers given to police on Twitter, paralleling them to carding.

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It is not clear exactly why that person was removed, or whether there was one or more shooters, the sheriff said. Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch is charged with homicide and attempted homicide in the August 25 shootings.

"We have to trust that people are going to be honest", he said.

In a news release issued Saturday, Peel Regional Police announced they too would not be conducting random stops.

"If they wanted to go we could make that happen", the representative said in an interview.

"Racialized minorities, Indigenous, Black people, people of colour will be stopped and will be during this time, living in fear", Bryant said.

"Every individual who is required to provide a police officer or other provincial offences officer with information shall promptly comply".

The new anti-pandemic measures include further restrictions on social gatherings and essential retailers, the closure of some outdoor recreation centres and a pause on non-essential construction projects. Ontario intends to close the borders with neighbouring provinces Quebec and Manitoba effective Monday.

Yes. Capacity at supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, and pharmacies will be capped at 25 per cent.

Ford said the province was "on its heels" and the new measures were urgently needed to bring the province's COVID-19 situation under control.

"Ontario has the capacity to vaccinate more people, but we are lacking the supply to do it", Ford's spokesperson said.

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