Halton Police Officially Respond to new COVID-19 Regulations

By: Laura Steiner
Halton Regional Police Service has now officially responded to Ontario’s new COVID-19 regulations.  The new rules presented yesterday included granting police forces the authority to randomly stop residents.
HRPS released an official statement this morning, where they pledged themselves to working with municipal partners, and focusing on the 4 Es of enforcement.

  • Engage
  • Explain
  • Educate
  • Enforce

“We will not be stopping vehicles or individuals randomly but will respond as required and when necessary.  It is my hope that our citizens will continue to work cooperatively with us and with all levels of government throughout the weeks and months ahead,” Chief Tanner said.  36 of 44 municipal police forces have declined the new powers including Toronto, and Peel Region.
The restrictions were introduced as part of a strengthened stay-at-home order, which will now extend until May 19, 2021. HRPS is stressing the need for residents to continue taking personal responsibility for their own actions, and follow public health advice.  Halton Region added 104 cases of COVID-19 today.  Area Intensive Care Units (ICU) are 100% occupied with 36 COVID-19 patients.  Halton Hospitals are dealing with 119 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Province Adjusts COVID-19 enforcement regulations
The province has reversed its stance on new policy authority to arbitrarily stop residents inside their vehicles.  The  new regulation reads in part: “If a police officer or other provincial offenses officer has the reason to suspect that you are participating in an organized public event or social gathering.”
“Our priority has always been to address and discourage gatherings and crowds that violate the Stay-at-Home Order had 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,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in an email statement.