toronto stay at home order

This is how many people were actually charged for defying stay-at-home orders in Toronto

Even though police in Ontario didn't end up maintaining their short-lived powers to pull people over and check if they were abiding by the provincewide stay-at-home order, local authorities still managed to bust thousands of residents for defying the directive to avoid unnecessary travel and stay home for all but essential trips.

In Toronto specifically, police issued approximately 1,500 tickets for violating the emergency order, which was issued under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and Reopening Ontario Act (EMPCA) on April 8 and just expired on June 2.

Over the course of six weeks, new teams designated to enforce COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were called to 1,845 incidents of potential noncompliance with the order, and issued 1,459 charges per the EMPCA, along with another 67 unrelated charges pertaining to things such as firearms and assaults — including one instance of biting a cop.

The City had said last month that it would be first and foremost targeting large illicit indoor gatherings in private residences and businesses rather than focusing enforcement on people drinking and socializing in parks.

But in other parts of the province, residents faced charges for defying emergency orders for activities as simple as riding in a car or even hanging out in a parking lot.

Police have also busted numerous large parties in Toronto and elsewhere, a number of them in commercial spaces and with as many as 150 people.

As Toronto Police Service reminds people in its latest release about breaches of the stay-at-home order, enforcement of other pandemic restrictions that are still in place will still continue on.

"Although the stay-at-home order has lifted, restrictions under the EMCPA and ROA (Reopening Ontario Act) remain in place including a limit of five people gathered outside, no indoor gatherings and the closure of restaurants and bars except for take-out orders," the briefing states.

"Officers, where appropriate, will continue to enforce the restrictions in place and respond to large gathering calls. Anyone thinking of attending an event or meeting up in large groups, it is not worth it. Not only are you putting yourself and others at risk but you could also face a fine of $750."

Lead photo by

Dominic Bugatto

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