Just a day after the provincial government granted police the power to randomly pull over Ontario drivers to help slow the surging spread of COVID-19, that power has been withdrawn. Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says officers will no longer have the right to stop any pedestrian or driver to ask why they’re out or request their home address in an effort to enforce a stay-at-home order. Instead, police will only be able to stop people who they have reason to believe are participating in an “organized public event or social gathering.” Civil liberties groups had decried Friday’s announcement, and are welcoming the province’s decision to walk it back.
With the rapid spread of #COVID19, we are strengthening enforcement to drive compliance with the Stay-at-Home order. This is a critical moment in our response to this deadly virus, and we are taking action to protect our communities. Learn more: https://t.co/vxplv3x4Oe pic.twitter.com/mzUixUzXi6
— Sylvia Jones (@SylviaJonesMPP) April 16, 2021
Ford Government Backtracks On Playground Rules:
It’s welcome news for many Ontario parents — playgrounds in the province will no longer be closed due to the stay-at-home order. Premier Doug Ford backtracked on the measure on Saturday — a day after it was announced. Public health experts had expressed confusion about the decision to close the outdoor play structures, because evidence suggests almost all COVID-19 transmission happens indoors. However, outdoor gatherings involving members of different households are still banned under the order.
Ontario’s enhanced restrictions were always intended to stop large gatherings where spread can happen.
Our regulations will be amended to allow playgrounds but gatherings outside will still be enforced. Play outside safely. Parents keep your distance & wear masks if you can’t.
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 17, 2021
Here is the controversial announcement from Friday:
New Ontario Border Restrictions Begin Today:
Truckers warn there may delays crossing from Manitoba into Ontario beginning today. That’s due to Ontario’s new COVID-19 restrictions. Checkpoints will be set up at Ontario’s boundaries with Quebec and Manitoba to prohibit non-essential entry. The Ontario Trucking Association has asked for bypass lanes to keep truck traffic moving.
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot