(Ottawa)—Effective this evening at 8 p.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) will no longer maintain a 24/7 presence at interprovincial crossings (bridges and ferries). Instead, the OPS will deploy officers on a rotating schedule of checkpoints moving throughout all City of Ottawa interprovincial crossings on a daily basis, until the expiry of the Provincial Order.
Since the onset of the border operations, the OPS has been working closely with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) along with local stakeholders and interprovincial stakeholders (the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau, the Ontario Provincial Police, etc.) to assess any local public health, traffic and safety impacts. The assessment resulted in today’s operational changes. The OPS says it has been and will remain focused on their stated goal of ensuring our education, engagement and enforcement actions support improved public health outcomes and respect the concerns of our most marginalized and racialized communities all while enabling compliance with the Provincial Order restricting interprovincial travel. The operational changes announced today are designed to better ensure the health and safety of all, to minimize delays and/or hazards for travelers and to ensure essential workers can get to their places of employment on time. The OPS will continue to work with OPH and our partners to conduct daily assessments on the border operations. The public will be notified of any material changes to the border operations. We remind all members of the public to respect the Ontario Stay-at-Home order.
Who should cross the interprovincial border
This is a reminder that the circumstances for which a person can travel into Ontario from Quebec, per the Ontario government directives, include:
- the person’s principal residence is in Ontario
- the person is travelling to perform work in Ontario
- the person is transporting goods into or through Ontario as part of the operation of a business that involves the transportation of goods
- the person is travelling into Ontario for the purpose of exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right
- the person’s health makes it necessary to travel into Ontario to obtain health care or social services
- the travel is necessary for a humanitarian or compassionate reason
Beyond identification to operate a motor vehicle, there are no requirements for travellers to provide documentation to officers such as a note from an employer or physician. Individuals will be required to provide their name, address and reason for travelling. Enforcement of Provincial Authorities These measures are in support of new public health orders issued by the Government of Ontario. The OPS began screening travellers at all Ottawa-area interprovincial border crossings on April 19th.We are working in close collaboration with our community, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and other City of Ottawa agencies (OC Transpo, Roads/Transportation, etc.) to ensure these authorities are only used for their intended purpose of supporting public health orders and public health outcomes.