Solicitor General says police won’t randomly stop people to enforce the Stay at Home order

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One of the most controversial orders Premier Doug Ford unveiled Friday has been clarified.

Facing potentially 10,000 cases of COVID-19 a day, the provincial government put in new regulations Friday, including giving police the authority to stop people randomly and ask them why they were not at home. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association called it “a Black Friday of rights slashing by Queen’s Park… risking a rash of racial profiling and overbroad police powers, presuming everyone outside guilty until proven otherwise,” adding it was not constitutional.

Some of the province’s largest police forces said they would not be stopping people randomly.

The Solicitor General, Sylvia Jones, said in a statement the government had “refocused” the regulation.

“If a police officer or other provincial offences officer has reason to suspect that you are participating in an organized public event or social gathering, they may require you to provide information to ensure you are complying with restrictions. Every individual who is required to provide a police officer or other provincial offences officer with information shall promptly comply.”

“Our priority has always been to address and discourage gatherings and crowds that violate the Stay-at-Home Order and have the potential to further spread COVID-19. That is why we provided police services with the additional temporary authority to enforce the Stay-at-Home Order by putting a stop to gatherings and crowds.”

This is the second of the regulations which have been changed the day after they were announced.

The premier backtracked on an order for playground equipment to be closed.