Armed checkpoints appear along Ontario-Manitoba border

Police officers also blocking highway from Quebec.
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Without the snow and pine trees, drivers could be mistaken for believing it to be the Texas-Mexico border.

An Ontario Provincial Police tactical command vehicle has been spotted setting up along a highway from Manitoba into the province.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday authorities would start manning the borders at 12:01 a.m. Monday making sure only essential travellers are getting into the province.

Sunday night, pictures started to appear on social media of what appeared to be an OPP command vehicle setting up shop on an Ontario highway at the Manitoba border.

“Should an individual not have a valid reason to enter Ontario, they will be turned back,” said Ontario’s Solicitor General Sylvia Jones during a news conference Friday.

“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.”

Failing to comply with the Ontario restrictions could result in a fine of at least $750.

On Monday morning, a police check point appeared on the Champlain bridge stopping traffic headed into Ontario from Quebec.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) believes that inter-provincial limitations on the mobility of citizens is a direct violation of mobility rights under the constitution.

The police-turned-border guards are a part new draconian set of measures announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford to try combat a spike in reported COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, Ford announced that the current stay-at-home/house arrest order would be extended another six weeks and border crossings in the province will be controlled at Manitoba and Quebec.

Ford also pleaded with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to bring in stronger security and health testing at Ontario airports.

He announced outdoor playgrounds and recreation facilities will be closed and outdoor activities will be limited to only one household. Non-essential construction will be stopped.

Police officers in Ontario were be given the power to stop anyone in the public domain and demand identification and the reason why that person isn’t at home.

Officials could also go into offices to look for non-essential workers who aren’t staying home.

Ford’s announcement drew an immediate backlash from police departments across the province who vowed not to follow his Draconian regulations.

The next day, the government backtarcked on the police powers and also let playgrounds stay open.

“I’ve never shied away from telling you the brutal, honest truth,” Ford told a twice-delayed Friday afternoon press conference.

“We’re losing the battle between the variants and vaccines … We’re on our heels.”

Provincial modelling shows, even doing 100,000 vaccines a day, Ontario could see more than 10,000 cases per day by the end of May.

Lawyers for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said they would take the weekend to study the harsh lockdown orders before deciding their next move.

Wiki Production Code: A0769

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