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‘Should People Call Police On Their Neighbors?’: Officers Will Now Stop Citizens, Ask For Personal Information In Canada

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced in a Friday press conference that Ontario’s four-week stay-at-home order will extend another two weeks and also include harsher punishments for failing to abide by the rules.

“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 in their lives,” Ford said. “But, we have never shied away from doing what is necessary.”

As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, police officers will be able to interrogate citizens for their address and the purpose for not being at home. Not complying is considered breaking the law, which will empower police officers to issue tickets. (RELATED: Children Must Isolate Alone If Exposed To COVID-19, Health Guidance Says. Experts Call It ‘Cruel’)

WATCH: 

“We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers’ authority for the duration of the stay-at-home order,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said at the conference. “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 a vehicle to inquire about an individual’s reason for leaving their residence.”

One citizen asked the panel, “If someone sees their neighbors breaking these new regulations and having a party in their yard, that sort of thing, should people call the police on their neighbors?”

“I’m never going to encourage people to inundate the byline enforcement or police departments with calls,” Jones answered. “But if it means saving lives, then I think we have to think about what your 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.”