thumb-2021-04-020
thumb-2021-04-020 This article is more than 1 month old
Analysis

Police Departments Across Ontario Are Issuing Statements Rejecting Use of Doug Ford’s Controversial New Police Powers

Doug Ford announced police now have the power to stop and interrogate anyone who leaves their home at any time of day

Local police departments across Canada’s biggest province are issuing stunning public statements rejecting the use of heavy-handed police powers announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday afternoon.

The unprecedented turn of events follows Ford’s decision to grant police blanket powers to arbitrarily stop and interrogate anyone found outside their home at any time of day in an effort to enforce public health regulations.

Ford has also ignored calls from health experts to bring in less draconian measures, including paid sick days and prioritizing support for essential workers, to control the spread instead.

Civil liberties groups say the new powers are “unconstitutional” and predict it will only lead to a “rash of racial profiling and overboard police powers.”

In 2017, Ontario banned the practice of carding, situations where police collected personal information from individuals — particularly racialized individuals — during random street checks. The new powers Ford announced go even further than the old rules, allowing police to arbitrarily interrogate anyone they find outside their home at any time of day.

Here is a running list of public statements from local police departments rejecting use of Ford’s newly announced police powers:

Toronto Police

“The Toronto Police Service will continue to engage, educate and enforce, but we will not be doing random stops of people or cars.”

Ottawa Police

“Under the updated orders, police have the authority to stop and make inquiries of individuals who are out in public spaces and not at their home address (pedestrians, motorists, occupants of vehicles, etc.) to assess if the person is in compliance with the Stay-at-Home order.  This authority requires such individuals to provide the officer(s) with their home address and purpose for leaving their home.

The OPS will not be conducting random stops. We will be taking a deliberate and careful approach that emphasizes equity, legality, and efficacy in the application of these authorities with the specific and exclusive purpose to support public health measures.”

Hamilton Police

We want to assure Hamilton, Ontario citizens that members will NOT be conducting arbitrary vehicle and person stops for the sole purpose of enforcing the Stay-at-Home order.”

London Police

“Our plan is to continue to engage, explain, educate and enforce in a fair and unbiased manner. We will not be randomly stopping people.”

Waterloo Police

“We will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.”

Kingston Police

“Members of the Kingston Police will not be conducting random vehicle or pedestrian stops.”

Peel Region Police

“We will not conduct random stops of vehicles or people, to determine their reasons for being away from their homes.”

Windsor Police

“Officers will not be randomly stopping people or vehicles.”

Thunder Bay Police

“Members of the Thunder Bay Police Service will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.”

Halton Police

“We will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.”

Guelph Police

“Our Guelph Police members will not be doing random stops of people or vehicles.”

Niagara Police

“We will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.”

Barrie Police

“Our officers will not be conducting ‘spot checks’ on vehicles or individuals.”

Peterborough Police

“Peterborough Police will continue to be complaints-driven in our response to the increased provincial measures, that means  we will not be randomly stopping people.”

Sault Ste. Marie Police

“We will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops for the sole purpose of ensuring EMCPA compliance.”

North Bay Police

“As we review the new provincial regulations, please note that North By Police will NOT be conducting random vehicle or individual stops.”

Sudbury Police

“With these new restrictions, the Government also enhanced law enforcement powers when it comes to enforcement in particular the authority to require any individual to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence, as well as, the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual’s reasons for leaving their home.

Upon reviewing the new authority given to Police Services, it is our decision to maintain our current proactive and reactive complaint driven education and enforcement model … We will not be conducting random person or vehicle stops for the sole purpose of determining where you are going or why you are out of your residence.”

South Simcoe Police

“We will continue to use discretion in our day to day interactions with the public and will not be conducting random vehicle or person stops.”

Kawartha Lakes Police

“The new emergency measures include temporary authorities for police to stop individuals to determine if they are in compliance with the Provincial stay-at-home order. We are still reviewing the new legislation, but our enforcement response will remain evidence driven and Kawartha Lakes Police officers will not be arbitrarily stopping pedestrians or motorists.”

Cornwall Police

“Members of the CPS will not be conducting random pedestrian or vehicle stops.”

St. Thomas Police

“As a service we will continue to engage, explain, educate and enforce in a fair and unbiased manner. We will not be randomly stopping people. We will continue to police with the same common sense approach we have used since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Stratford Police

“We will not be conducting random stops on vehicles, or pedestrians.”

Durham Police

“In regards to the new provincial regulations, we will continue to engage our community, educate when appropriate & enforce when necessary. At this time, this does not include randomly stopping vehicles in order to enforce the stay-at-home orders. This also includes pedestrians.”

 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-05-012

Long-Term Care Executives Give Themselves Big Bonuses Claiming ‘100% Customer Satisfaction’ During Deadly Pandemic

Related Stories

Analysis

Real Estate Developers and Construction Executives Top List of Donors to Brian Pallister’s Manitoba PCs in 2020

View the post
Analysis

BC’s 2021 Budget Will Support Low-Income People. But Experts Say It’s Missing Some Important Items.

View the post
Analysis

Here’s Why Labour Groups and Health Experts Want British Columbia to Legislate Paid Sick Days

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Canadians Are Talking About ‘Defunding the Police’. Here’s What That Means and What It Could Look Like.

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

How Federal Leadership Can Help Establish Important Social Programs and Health Reforms

View the post
Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Powerful People Do Stupid Things

View the post