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January 13, 2021

Michael Bryant, Executive Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, made the following statement:

“As the Ontario Government announced a 28-day stay-at-home order, what concerns us the most is the vulnerable and our hope that law enforcement in Ontario learn the lessons from the first wave. You can’t ticket your way out of a pandemic.

During the first wave of the pandemic, there were a disproportionate number of tickets for the homeless, the vulnerable and for racialized minorities. All those tickets did not cause a decrease in COVID-19 cases.

Our biggest concern always is that the orders are brought in based on fear and politics instead of science. It does appear this is based on science – we will have to see if it is proportional to the real risk. “

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, added:

“We can’t be ticketing the poor for being poor. We can’t be forcing the homeless into impossible situations where on the one hand they could be out getting ticketed and on the other they could be packed into overcrowded homeless shelters where they are at risk of catching COVID.

What remains to be seen are the details around the accommodation of constitutional freedoms such as the freedom to worship as well as impacts on the freedom to protest and freedom of speech rights. “

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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