The Ontario Provincial Police released the terms of their enforcement of the province’s stay at home order issued last week. The order required residents to stay at home unless travelling for essential reasons, such as work, exercise or collecting groceries.
In a statement, the police asked Ontarians to voluntarily abide by the rules. Officers would focus on non-compliance from businesses, including restaurants and retailers, as well as complaints from the public. Outdoor gatherings of more than five people would also be targeted, with fines for those found to have breached the orders.
But the OPP said it would not arbitrarily stop a vehicle, nor enter a dwelling, solely to check compliance with the stay-at-home order. Individuals who travelled outside their home were not expected to carry proof of essential work, but officers would be able people to identify themselves if they were suspected of breaching the regulations.
In response to concerns about Quebec residents crossing the border for shopping and other matters, police said they would not turn out-of-province visitors away, but had taken steps to remind them of public health measures. Hawkesbury’s OPP detachment reminded some Quebec drivers of the health rules at the Walmart parking lot in the town last weekend, but the exercise was not an enforcement action. Police responded to the shopping centre after concerns were raised about the number of out-of-province plates in the shopping complex.
Fines were $750 for failing to comply with an order or $1000 for preventing others from following the regulations. Individuals could be fined up to $100,000, while corporations could face up to $10 million in fines for non-compliance. Prosecution and jail time was also possible in extreme cases.