A number of Ontario police services, including Barrie and South Simcoe, rejecting random stops of persons and vehicles

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police said officers will use their discretion in enforcing measures

Police in Ontario now have powers given to them by the provincial government to enforce its stay-at-home order and can stop individuals and vehicles and ask their reasons for leaving their homes.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police said in a statement that police officers will use their discretion in enforcing the measures.

“As we review the new authorities provided today by the Government of Ontario and communicate these authorities to our police officers, Ontario police services remain committed to ensuring their police officers and personnel work in a transparent and accountable manner whenever they interact with Ontarians during these trying times,” the statement read.

The Ontario Provincial Police said in a statement they urged everyone to comply with the new rules. The OPP will have members located at interprovincial points of entry by road to screen all vehicles beginning Monday, Apr, 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Manitoba time.

“Those not travelling for essential reasons will be refused entry. There are exceptions for work, medical care, transportation of goods and the exercising of Treaty rights for Indigenous persons,” according to the statement.

Barrie Police tweeted on Saturday that officers will not be conducting ‘spot checks’ on vehicles or individuals.

South Simcoe Police is reviewing the new COVID-19 regulations. The service said it will use discretion in day-to-day interactions with the public and will not be conducting random vehicle or person stops.

Police services in Peterborough, Guelph, Waterloo Region, Peel Region, London and Ottawa said they will not be randomly stopping people.

Solicitor General Syliva Jones introduced the new police powers Friday afternoon as part of new measures announced by Premier Doug Ford to stop the further spread of COVID-19.

“We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers’ authority for the duration of the stay-at-home order. Moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide the purpose for not being at home and provide their home address,” Jones said.

Banner picture: stock image – Solicitor General Sylvia Jones