The Niagara Regional Police Service said its officers will not conduct random vehicle stops after the Ontario government expanded police powers Friday to enforce new stay-at-home order rules.
Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), police officers now have the ability to question anyone on why they are not at home and ask them for their address.
In an effort to halt the rising case counts of COVID-19, new restrictions were announced by the Government of Ontario, including a two-week extension of the current province-wide shutdown.
A violation of the stay-at-home order can draw a fine of $750 under new provincial rules.
The Niagara Regional Police Service said it “is continuing to review the new regulations to ensure appropriate enforcement.”
However, in a press release issued Saturday morning, it said its officers “will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops. As before, our initiatives will be both complaint driven or proactive, with the goal of gaining compliance. Those that refuse to comply will receive the appropriate penalty.”
Under the stay-at-home order, Ontario residents may only go out for necessities, such as:
- the grocery store or pharmacy
- health care services (including going to medical appointments or getting vaccinated)
- outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
- work that cannot be done remotely
- child care or school
Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can. Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.