Canada's Ontario gives police sweeping powers to enforce stay-at-home orders

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Apr 17, 2021, 11:53 AM(IST)

A person receiving a vaccine shot. (Image for representation) Photograph:( Reuters )

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Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and has witnessed a record number of coronavirus cases, with health experts worried about the effects of healthcare system being overwhelmed

Canada’s Ontario recently announced sweeping police powers in a bid to enforce stay-at-home orders. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and has witnessed a record number of coronavirus cases, with health experts worried about the effects of healthcare system being overwhelmed.

“We’re losing the battle between the variants and vaccines… We’re on our heels. If we dig in, remain steadfast, we can turn this around,’’ Doug Ford, Ontario’s premier announced on Friday. 

Now, police officers in Ontario can now stop drivers and pedestrians. They can now ask people who are outside their address and reasons for being outside their homes. In addition, they could face fines of upto $600 (Canadian $750) in case they fail to comply. 

Also read: Densely populated cities not necessarily prone to coronavirus infections, study finds

To ensure compliance, police officers have put up checkpoints at provincial borders with Manitoba and Quebec - allowing only essential travel.

Soon after the move was announced, it received back from civil rights groups in the country. Ford has also announced restrictions on playgrounds and outdoor sports.

Also read: Canada's immigration programme for Hong Kongers received 500 applications in 3 weeks

A new model predicts Ontario will have 15,000 new cases everyday by June if the current trajectory of daily cases continues. This model has taken into account vaccinations. In addition, the province could see 30,000 cases a day.

On Friday, the province saw record 4,812 new cases of coronavirus.

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