Premier Ford started his address to the people of Ontario today by saying ” Well good afternoon. I’ve never shied away from telling you the brutal honest truth. I’ve never shied away from telling you tough decisions and today I’m here to do just that. My friends, we’re losing the battle against the variants and vaccines.”
The Premier continued his address:
“The pace of our vaccine supply has not kept up with the spread of the new Covid variants. We’re on our heels – but if we dig in, remain steadfast we can turn this around. We’re down but no means are we out.”
The Premier continued the doom and gloom message to Ontarians by telling Ontarians he has been ringing the alarm bell for weeks. Premier Ford added that most of the province has been in some sort of lockdown since last fall. However, the Premier hinted that these measures aren’t enough.
“We have to do more. The reality is there are few options left. We have implemented the strictest measures in all of North America. And the difficult truth is every public health measure we have left comes with a massive cost to people and their lives. But we have never shied away from doing what’s necessary. And It comes down to three things. Limiting mobility, enforcing the rules and getting vaccines into arms.”
The Premier then announced he was extending the emergency orders for another two weeks – for a total of 6 weeks. The Premier also announced that outdoor gatherings would now be restricted to your household only – except if you live alone, then you can join one other household. What came as a shock was the choice to restrict all outdoor recreational facilities – including golf facilities.
“We’re restricting all outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields and playgrounds. We’re reducing capacity in big box retail even further to 25%. Beginning on Monday, places of worship will be capped at maximum of 10 people indoors.”
List of new restrictions
The list of new restrictions includes the following:
- Another 2-week extension of the emergency declaration
- Outdoor gatherings restricted to household only – those who live alone can join one other household
- All outdoor recreational facilities are now restricted – including golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields and playgrounds
- Interprovincial checkpoints
- Police can now stop any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide their purpose for not being at home and provide their home address – refusal can lead to a fine of up to $750
- Police now have the authority to stop vehicles for purpose of enquiring about an individuals reason for leaving their residence
The solicitor general of Ontario talks new police powers
The solicitor General of Ontario, Sylvia Jones, laid out the new powers the police have been given during the press conference.
She told Ontarians that “moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide their purpose for not being at home and provide their home address. Police will also have the authority to stop the vehicle to enquire about an individual’s reason for leaving their residence.”
The Solicitor General finished her thoughts by saying “I cannot stress this enough it is imperative that everyone limit their trips outside of the home to permitted purposes only. Such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, medical appointments, outdoor exercise or for work that cannot be done remotely. We know that stay-at-home orders work. We’ve seen their success in slowing down the spread of the virus and saving lives.”
When pressed about what would happen if someone refused to identify – the solicitor General told a reporter for CHCH, Randy Rath that Currently, “if you break an order under the EMCPA then it is $750 as I understand it.” Mr. Rath also asked if Ontarians should snitch on their neighbours if they thought there was an “illegal gathering”.
“Should people call the police on their neighbours?” Mr. Rath asked the Solicitor General. Her answer was anything but comforting.
“In terms of people calling to snitch to inform – look we all have a personal responsibility and I would hope that the vast majority of us would take that responsibility seriously,” the Solicitor General said. “When we see the ICU numbers rise, I would hope that people would take a second thought and consider their neighbours, consider those healthcare workers who have been working incredibly hard over the past 12 years.”
The Solicitor General finished her answer by doing everything short of endorsing snitching:
“I’m never going to encourage people to inundate the by-law enforcement or police departments with calls BUT – if it means saving lives then I think we have to think about what you’re social responsibilities are as an individual to make sure that you don’t empower other people and invite a whole bunch of individuals to your home.” So in essence – yes you should snitch according to the Solicitor General of Ontario.
Interprovincial travel restrictions
According to the Solicitor General, they are restricting travel into Ontario from the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec with exception of the following purposes:
- Medical care
- Transportation of goods
- Exercising Indigenous treaty rights
The Solicitor general told Ontarians that “should an individual not have a valid reason to enter Ontario they will be turned back.”
Solicitor General shames Ontarians protesting lockdowns and enjoying life
The Solicitor General took shots at those protesting the lockdowns during her address. She told the cameras “this is a critical moment in Ontario’s response to this deadly virus and every single person in Ontario has an important role in protecting our communities.”
“Unfortunately, some people continue to attend gatherings and leave their homes for non-essential reasons. As a government, it is our responsibility to take action to address non-compliance and prevent further transmission of Covid-19. That is why, after consulting with public health experts we have made the deliberate decisions to temporarily enhance police officers’ authority for the duration of the stay at home order”.
The Solicitor General finished her thoughts by saying “together we can make a difference to protect our loved ones and our communities. Please stay home – stay safe, thank you.”
Welcome to the new Ontario. Politicians keep promising hope but removing more freedoms. Now we can expect a provincial checkpoint and police can arbitrarily question anyone about why they’re out and about.
Just another reminder as our politicians keep saying that lockdowns are working so well – I’d like to close with the following quote from a Lancet study about the ineffectiveness of full lockdowns.
The study titled “A country-level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes” says that “rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people.”
Diverge Media is an independent Canadian media company dedicated to bringing you the stories that matter. You can support tour work by donating in the form below or by purchasing merch in our online store.