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Toronto police clarify role in enforcing stay-at-home orders

General view of the restaurants row on Yonge Street near Finch Avenue during the first weekend of Ontario's Third Wave Shutdown in North York on Sunday, April 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan

Toronto police say they plan to focus on restaurants and businesses not complying with the government’s stay-at-home orders rather than individuals who may be out in public during the 28 day period.

Similar to the last stay-at-home order, police will not be stopping vehicles or approaching anyone who happens to be outside as this not evidence of non-compliance. Their enforcement efforts will instead be on those individuals and businesses not complying with closure orders or customer limits as well as responding to complaints for large gatherings which violate the current Reopening Ontario Act.

Officials say if an officer has reasonable and probable grounds to suspect someone has violated one of the orders, they may be asked to identify themselves and failure to do so could result in tickets and summonses being issued. They could also be arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer.

“I urge all Torontonians to please comply. Do not go out unless it’s for essential reasons only,” said Chief James Ramer. “Everyone has a role and a responsibility to keep our communities safe. The message is clear – stay home.”

Police add that anyone travelling to and from work during this time does not have show proof from their employer.