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Province Clarifies the roll of Police During the Lockdown

Province Clarifies the roll of Police During the Lockdown

TORONTO, ONTARIO ~~~~~~  January 14, 2021  (LSN)  Police do not have the power to stop drivers to enforce new stay-at-home order, Ontario tells police chiefs

Under Ontario’s new emergency measures, police officers do not have the authority to stop a car solely to check compliance with stay-at-home measures, and individuals don’t have to tell officers why they’re outside, according to a government memo.

Sent to police chiefs Wednesday on the eve of Ontario’s emergency measures coming into effect, the government memo provides some guidance to police and by-law officers now enforcing the province’s stay-at-home order after confusion over officers’ role.

A spokesman for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said the order doesn’t give police the power to enter homes or stop vehicles solely to check if the measure is being followed. Residents traveling to work are also not required to have proof from their boss that they are doing so.

“On its own, being outside is not sufficient evidence of a failure to comply with the stay-at-home order,” spokesman Stephen Warner said. in a media release 

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police confirmed officers will not be stopping people solely to ask about the stay-at-home order.

the memo, the new measures do not allow police to enter any dwellings or give them the authority to stop a vehicle solely to check compliance with the stay-at-home order.

“In addition, individuals are not compelled to explain why they are out of their residence,” states the memo, which notes that being outside should not automatically be considered “evidence of a failure to comply with the stay at home order.”

Thunder Bay Police Service have not commented the  Direction of Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. Jones said in a media release said the order doesn’t give police the power to enter homes or stop vehicles solely to check if the measure is being followed. 

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