Policing the Pandemic: Tracking the Policing of Covid-19 across Canada

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“Across Canada, there has been an extraordinary scaling-up in police powers and presence in response to the virus’ spread. States of emergency have been declared in every province and territory, shutting down non-essential businesses, mandating self-isolation for recent travellers, and imposing physical distancing rules. These and other virus containment rules are being enforced via provincial public health law, emergency legislation, the criminal code, and municipal by-laws, resulting in hefty fines, and a risk of potential jail time for re-offences. In certain locations, check-points have been set up, while in other areas, people are being required to identify themselves when questioned by police.

In some jurisdictions, police and municipal by-law officers have been given the power to enforce public health and emergency orders. Furthermore, a myriad of “snitch lines” have been launched across Canada in an effort to bolster police intelligence via crowdsourcing. These snitch lines are encouraging people to report on those in their community breaking rules under the new pandemic normal.”

Source: Policing the Pandemic

About Peter Kim

Strategic Communications Manager, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition