Thursday, January 14, 2021

Toronto Police enforcing Stay At Home orders

Toronto Police enforcing Stay At Home orders

Broadcast time: 17:15
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021
Unit: Corporate Communications
Phone: 416-808-7100
Case #: N/A

On January 12, 2021, the Government of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, declared a second provincial emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

The government also issued a new Stay-At-Home order to limit mobility and reduce the number of daily contacts with those outside their immediate household. The order is requiring everyone to remain in their homes with exceptions under certain categories including for groceries, medical, pharmacy, exercise or for work that cannot be done remotely.

The Toronto Police Service will enforce this new order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) in addition to continued enforcement of the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) in partnership with the City of Toronto.

"The message from the Toronto Police Service is to stay home and stay safe. This is no longer strictly a public health issue, it is a matter of public safety," said Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw. "We each have a personal responsibility to limit our travel to essential reasons only to slow the spread of COVID-19 and try to keep our families and communities safe and support our hospitals and healthcare workers."

No element of any order provides the police with either the power to enter dwellings nor the authority to stop a vehicle for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the Stay-At-Home order.

In addition, individuals are not compelled to explain why they are out of their residence, nor is being outside prima facie evidence of a failure to comply with the stay at home order. Workers are also not required to have proof from their employer that they are travelling to or from their workplace.

Officers will focus enforcement efforts on restaurants and businesses not in compliance with closure orders and/or customer limits; responding to complaint calls for gatherings and officers will disperse and ticket gatherings of more than five people outdoors.

"Officers can exercise discretion in every situation," continued Deputy Chief Demkiw. "But, where there is evidence of non-compliance, officers will be ticketing and issuing summonses for individuals and businesses."

The public is reminded that only when an officer has reasonable and probable grounds to suspect someone has violated one of the orders under the two Acts, they may ask the person to identify themselves in order to issue a ticket or summons. If the person refuses to identify themselves for this purpose, they can be arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer.

The Service continues to work with its partners at the City of Toronto, including Toronto Public Health, to determine how the regulations for large gatherings will apply to City-owned outdoor spaces such as skating rinks and toboggan hills.

The regulations under the Stay-At-Home order can be found here.

Corporate Communications

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