Armed personnel at provincial borders ‘another frightening signpost in Canada’s rush to tyranny,’ lawyer warns
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April 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian lawyer blasted new checkpoints that provincial police placed along the Ontario provincial border with Manitoba and Quebec.
“The establishment of zones that citizens cannot leave is antithetical to the purpose and principles of a free society. It is another frightening signpost in Canada’s rush to tyranny,” lawyer Jay Cameron with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) told LifeSiteNews.
“No Canadian is required to give police information at health checkpoints, and no police service in Canada should become the antagonist of its fellow citizens and enforce this outrageous order,” he said.
Over the weekend, members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) tactical command unit were seen placing armed checkpoints at the Manitoba-Ontario border. Similar checkpoints have been spotted along points of the Ontario-Quebec border, with some causing massive traffic jams.
The new checkpoints are the result of new Wuhan coronavirus orders enacted by Ontario Premier Doug Ford last Friday. The enhanced “stay at home orders” mean that provincial authorities are now screening those coming into the province from Manitoba and Quebec.
Those who do not comply with rule could face fines of up to $750.
Only “essential travelers” are to be allowed through the borders. Truckers carrying goods and those with Ontario licenses plates are being let through without being stopped.
The OPP says that since Monday, it has been on site “on roadways, at interprovincial points of entry, to screen incoming vehicles.”
“All vehicles will be required to slow down as they approach the checkpoints. Commercial vehicles, such as transport trucks, will be permitted to pass. Passenger vehicles bearing Ontario license plates will be required to enter the checkpoint, but will be allowed to proceed. Officers will be screening incoming passenger vehicles with out-of-province license plates to determine the reason for entering Ontario,” says the OPP.
Reasons for which Canadians are “permitted” to enter Ontario include for living and/or working in the province, health care matters, Indigenous Treaty Rights, child care or custody matters, transportation of goods, and those “traveling through Ontario to another location.”
“Should an individual not have a valid reason to enter Ontario, they will be turned back,” Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said last week.
“Why are you coming into Ontario at this time? Is it necessary for medical, personal, or work reasons? If it’s not, respectfully, you need to turn away until we deal with the variants, and until we get sufficient vaccines to make sure that our citizens are protected.”
Section 6 - “6 – Mobility rights” of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “(1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.”
“Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right: to move to and take up residence in any province; and to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province,” reads part 2 of section 6.
Cameron told LifeSiteNews that Canadians’ right to “remain silent” is ever more important now in light of the new provincial border checks.
“We also note the right to remain silent is well-established, and in the face of ever escalating mistreatment of citizens from health tyrants and overbearing premiers, the exercise of this basic right is all the more important,” Cameron said.
The provincial government of British Columbia recently announced it was starting random checks of motorists within the province as part of new coronavirus measures. However, provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth today said it would not be doing random stops but only have checkpoints along some busy highways.
As part of new measures introduced last week, the Ford government extended a stay-at-home order in Ontario, placed a 10-person limit on church service attendance size, closed playgrounds, implemented provincial border checks, and gave police the power to stop anyone for any reason, if they were outside their home, without cause.
After public backlash, however, the Ford government walked back some of its coronavirus rules less than a day later. Playgrounds were allowed to stay open, and police must now have “reason to suspect that you are participating in an organized public event or social gathering,” in order to question people.
The backtracking of some of the rules came about after dozens of local police forces in Ontario, in multiple statements, said they would not conduct random stops and searches of people just because they had left their homes.