Ontario introduces new travel restrictions and police powers and some say it's a police state
Ontario is introducing new travel restrictions to limit movement between provinces and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Premier Doug Ford announced a series of new public health measures Friday following the release of alarming new modelling that suggests Ontario could see more than 10,000 cases per day by the end of May if measures don't change.
"To get ahead of the variants that are plaguing Western Canada, beginning Monday, we're setting up checkpoints at all interprovincial borders," Ford said Friday. "We'll be limiting access to border crossings between Ontario and the provinces of Manitoba."
Beginning Monday, there will be checkpoints at Ontario borders with Quebec and Manitoba with exceptions for essential travel.— IamCanadian🇨🇦 (@LoLoToronto4) April 16, 2021
Who the heck is trying to come to Ontario right now?
The premier said exceptions to this rule include those that must travel for work, medical care or the transportation of goods.
The premier also called on the federal government to "immediately tighten up our international borders," blaming the devastating situation in Ontario on the fact that variants of concern entered the country through travellers arriving from abroad.
He said the feds should limit air travel, tighten up the U.S. border and address "the countless issues we are seeing with testing and quarantining when people fly into our country."
I'm gutted about the new restrictions in Ontario. Essential workers, who were thrown under the bus 13 months ago, just had the damn thing reverse back over them. People can be interrogated by police for leaving their homes for fresh air. "Checkpoints" at the borders.— Hannah Sparwasser Soroka (@TheGlintOfLight) April 16, 2021
Ford also announced an extension of the stay-at-home order, restrictions on outdoor activities and construction, and reduced outdoor gathering limits and retail store capacity, but there was no mention of paid sick leave — the measure experts have said is most needed to curb the spread.
Ontario's new measures to curb #COVID19:— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) April 16, 2021
1. Limiting non-essential travel - helpful
2. Prolonging stay at home - helpful
3. Increasing hotspot vaccine - helpful
4. Defining essential work - helpful
5. Support for essential workers - absent
6. Limiting outdoor recreation - huh?
The premier did announce, however, that police in Ontario will have new enhanced powers to enforce COVID-19 restrictions, something that has prompted many to say the government may be creating a police state.
Ontario is giving the police new powers to restrict activities outdoors.— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) April 16, 2021
Dougie actually just locked everyone in their home, and created a fascist police state.
I'm sure they'll be enforcing the laws evenly at Jane & Finch, as they will be on the Bridle Path too.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Friday that the province has made the "deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers' authority for the duration of the stay-at-home order."
A fucking nightmare, rock bottom here in Ontario. A police state during an epidemic inside a pandemic. All designed to break everyone's spirit. But every action is subject to an equal and opposite reaction. What goes around comes around, let's make that promise to each other.— Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) April 16, 2021
Starting tomorrow, Jones said police will have the authority to ask people why they are not home and to provide their home address.
Police will also have the authority to stop a vehicle to inquire about an individual's reason for leaving their residence, and officers will be able to issue tickets to anyone found to not be complying with the stay-at-home order.
people on ontario: “we want paid sick leave so we don’t have to force ourselves to go to work”— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) April 16, 2021
province of ontario: “we’re actually going to give more power to police so when you’re forced to go to work you’re harassed along the way"
"I cannot stress this enough: It is imperative that everyone limit their trips outside the home to permitted purposes only, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, medical appointments, outdoor exercise or for work that cannot be done remotely," she said.
"We know that stay-at-home orders work. We've seen their success in slowing down the spread of the virus and saving lives."
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