We are deeply concerned about how enforcement of Ontario’s new stay at home order will play out. The stay at home regulation includes twenty nine exemptions and carve outs, which allow people to leave their homes for what they determine to be essential reasons. New regulations empower police to stop individuals and demand ID, and issue significant fines. We are worried about what will happen when police and individuals disagree about what “essential” means.
We also know that random street checks have disproportionate impacts on minority communities. We are concerned that empowering police to enforce an unclear law will result in arbitrary detentions and searches. We are further concerned about escalations during police interactions when this unclear order is enforced.
This new order and the potential for arbitrary enforcement is already creating a culture of fear and mistrust. This is bad for police and bad for the public.
We are asking members of the public who have been arbitrarily stopped under the stay home order and have suffered concrete harm to contact us.
The original version of this release is available here.