Update "Trial ballon down in flames:" Under fire from every direction, and faced with every major municipal police force stating they would not use the 'random search' provisions, the Premier backed away from this draconian fiat, a day after announcing it.
In its justifiable plan to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections, Doug Ford’s government has gone way over the line. They have given the police "temporary" powers to stop anyone, anywhere and demand proof of their identity and the purpose of their travel. If that doesn’t immediately remind you of "Papers, please!" from Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union, then you have been living in a dream world. And if it doesn’t make you fear for carding and targeting of young males, especially visible minorities, then you have been asleep all your life. This whole move is just so wrong, on so many levels.
And equally bad, it plays into the hands of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers who are now doubtless saying that this move proves that the whole "fake pandemic" was a plan to introduce a police state. They are dead wrong (literally) on the masks and the vaccines, but they may be right on the politics. Let’s sit back and see if these "temporary" police powers are anything like the "temporary war income tax" … of 1917.
Actually, let’s not sit back. Let’s resist! If you live in Ontario, at least write the Premier, the Solicitor General, your MPP, and the media. Show these power-grabbers that we still care about personal freedom.
Meanwhile, fortunately, most of the major police forces have said they will decline to use this power, some even arguing that it is unconstitutional (which it probably is). While it’s rewarding to see the police here taking the public’s rights seriously, and nice to be saved by official discretion, not all forces have "signed off", and it should be a matter of the law, not of discretion. Police forces on the right side at the moment include Toronto, Peel, Hamilton, Niagara Regional, Niagara, Ottawa, Peterborough, Windsor, Cornwall, London, … When Haliman-Norfolk kicks in, it’ll sound like the round-up on election night!