Trudeau asks Atlantic premiers to help with Ontario COVID-19 outbreak

Alonzo Simpson
April 19, 2021

The government has sinced rolled back the new police powers amid widespread criticism and backlash, with Solicitor General Sylvia Jones stating that police will only be able to stop people who they have reason to believe are participating in an "organized public event or social gathering".

As part of the Ford government's enhanced stay-at-home measures announced Friday, non-essential travel into Ontario from Manitoba and Quebec is restricted and a person may be stopped by police who may ask questions as to their objective for coming into the province.

The new health order also significantly empowers police to enforce the restrictions, essentially allowing police to stop people without cause or reason.

"We will hear more about that in the next day or so, but it is being looked at", says Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The added police powers aimed at enforcing stay-at-home orders, they said, were overkill.

The move comes as police forces across the province said they would not be stopping drivers or others at random.

The closing of outdoor spaces puzzled many public health experts, who said the measures didn't make sense.

But the Golf is Calling movement suffered a major setback when Ontario premier Doug Ford pushed a new order into effect in the country's most populous province - one that closes golf courses and a number of other outdoor activities as of Saturday.

Police and provincial offences officers are allowed to ask people to provide their home address and the reason for not being at home.

Additional COVID-19 restrictions coming for Ontario
Canada's Ontario recently announced sweeping police powers in a bid to enforce stay-at-home orders. On Friday alone, Ontario declared 4,812 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths.

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

The AstraZeneca vaccine is now only offered to those 55 and older in Ontario, but federal officials said Sunday that Health Canada had licensed it for use for anyone over the age of 18, leaving provinces free to make their own decisions about who can get it.

"I would like to reassure our citizens that our officers will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops", Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said in a statement on Saturday.

On April 16, Anita Anand, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada revealed that Moderna's next shipment of COVID-19 vaccines had been cut in half.

However, non-essential construction sites like shopping malls, hotels and office towers will be closed.

The OPP will have members located on roadways, at interprovincial entry points, to screen incoming vehicles beginning Monday, April 19, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. ET/CT-Manitoba time.

Essential retailers must lower capacity limits to 25 per cent, indoor religious services are limited to 10 people, and non-essential construction has to shut down.

"He wants to cut and run", said Horwath, who warned that Ontario hospitals would only become more overcrowded if Ford's plan isn't fixed.

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