Toronto Mayor John Tory, the city’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa and fire chief Matthew Pegg are expected to provide an update on the city’s COVID-19 response on Monday as new restrictions take shape during the province’s extended stay-at-home order.
It comes as confusion and anger bubbled over new restrictions unveiled by Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday, that extended the stay-at-home order by two weeks, but also included increased police powers and restricting outdoor gatherings and closed playgrounds and other outdoor activities.
A day later, Ford rescinded the closure on playgrounds and amended the police powers. Restrictions on some outdoor amenities like golf courses and soccer fields remain in place, but these too are facing heavy criticism and even a petition to reopen golf.
Tory had expressed concerns over the new police powers and said he would be reviewing the new order. On Sunday, he said on Twitter that Toronto Police would not randomly stop people despite the new orders.
Under the original police powers announced, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said officers would temporarily be allowed to ask people where they live and why they aren’t at their home. This included stopping vehicles or individuals outdoors to inquire to their reasons for being out. After numerous police forces said they would not randomly stop people and following uproar from both civil liberty advocates and health-care professionals, the order was amended, with Jones saying police would only be able to stop people who they had reason to believe are participating in an “organized public event or social gathering.”
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