The Ontario government has introduced new public health measures in an effort to blunt the growth of COVID-19 and ease the strain on the province's health-care system.
The province announced a series of harsh new restrictions on Friday, including giving police the authority to randomly stop residents who are away from home and enforce the stay-at-home order.
Our regulations will be amended to allow playgrounds but gatherings outside will still be enforced.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said essential travel won't be affected when new interprovincial travel restrictions go into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m.
For the duration of the stay-at-home order, police officers and other provincial offences officers have increased powers to support its enforcement. Now, the province said police may stop individuals only if they are suspected of participating in an organized event or social gathering.
Despite the newest measures, police departments across the province have indicated that they do not intend to make use of the new powers.
Earlier at least a dozen police forces throughout Ontario, including in the capital of Toronto, said there will be no random stops of people or cars.
Confusion over yesterday's announcement from Premier Doug Ford has continued into the weekend.
Police will also now have the authority to ask anyone outside their residence to indicate their objective for leaving home and provide their address. It has since modified parts of that order relating to park playgrounds and policing powers.
"We're trying to plan this in a way that [the interaction at the border] is going to be a short conversation", he said. Though, people who live alone will be allowed to gather with only one other household outdoors.
The Ottawa Police Service stated in a news release: "The OPS will not be conducting random stops".
"Racialized minorities, Indigenous, Black people, people of colour will be stopped and will be during this time, living in fear", Bryant said.
While violating restrictions can carry a $750 fine, failure to provide police with requested information can result in criminal charges, according to the province's association of police chiefs.
The new anti-pandemic measures include further restrictions on social gatherings and essential retailers, the closure of some outdoor recreation centres and a pause on non-essential construction projects.
Construction for homes, hospitals, assessment centres and longterm care homes is permitted with COVID-19 safety precautions.
A statement from Ford's office Friday afternoon said: "If Ontario had the supply to ramp up to at least 300,000 vaccinations a day, it would have a significant impact on our ability to get a handle on this third wave".