FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2021
Re: Ontario COVID-19 added Police Measures
Today the Premier of Ontario announced that police would be given broad powers to stop Ontarians.
Indeed, we are facing a public health crisis. However, we firmly believe that the solutions to this public health crisis do not and should not require the further marginalization of vulnerable populations in this province. We are deeply disturbed that arbitrary police stops are being authorized, and unnecessary personal information can be collected and potentially retained indefinitely.
This is a violation of individual rights to liberty, equality, privacy, and the right to be free from arbitrary detention. The implications of this news is terrifying for Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities, who have historically been significantly over-represented in “street checks.” The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code are meant to protect individuals against these very acts of discriminatory treatment. The Ontario government has failed to appreciate this.
Our message to the public is this:
You are entitled to your dignity and legal rights.
During a time of great struggle for many racialized and marginalized people throughout this province, it is sickening that the Ontario government would place an added burden that will be disproportionately felt.
We do not intend to sit and watch this happen. For legal support, contact us if you fear your rights have been violated through an arbitrary stop.
Barrister & Solicitor