BREAKING: In new lockdown, Ontario threatens fines, jail for leaving home

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ONTARIO, January 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Ontario government has declared a second state of emergency and is issuing a stay-at-home order for the province beginning January 14, to last at least 28 days.

Premier Doug Ford announced today that the order allows people to leave their homes only for “essential” purposes, “such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, exercising, or essential work.” In addition, “[o]utdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions.”

The order is “aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household,” according to the news release announcing the second state of emergency.

The new restrictions were announced following new projections of ICU occupancy by COVID-19 patients, which is now over 400 beds and “is projected to be as high as 1,000 beds by early February which has the potential to overwhelm Ontario’s hospitals,” the news release states.

According to Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, “[s]trong, new measures will be enforced to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“We are taking extraordinary action to provide law enforcement officers with the tools and support they need to protect the health and wellbeing of Ontarians,” reported Jones.

These new “extraordinary” measures include allowing law enforcement to “issue tickets to those who breach the order and disperse crowds larger than five people, if they’re not part of the same household.”

Ontarians found violating the stay-at-home order face a fine and prosecution under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Emergency Management (EMPCA). Penalties include up to a year in jail, according to Solicitor General Jones.

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“We have made great strides in vaccinating tens of thousands of Ontarians, and we can’t let these efforts go to waste,” stated Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health. “Urgent action is required to break this deadly trend of transmission, ensure people stay home, and save lives.”

Just weeks ago, Ontario emergency room (E.R.) doctor Dr. Gil Nimni called out his “colleagues” who say the E.R. is “crazy” when he has observed that it is “empty.” 

Nimni acknowledged that COVID-19 is real and serious but expressed concerns on Twitter that “lockdowns are resulting in economic devastation but also resulting in fewer people accessing care in a timely manner.”

“The sad tragedy in all of this is when the government tells people to lock down, unfortunately that translates into people not seeking care for things they should. You see a lot of late presentation in things that should have been dealt with weeks earlier. Those are the concerning issues,” Nimni stated in a Toronto Sun report.

“Locking down people and sending people into financial ruin and worsening mental-health issues isn’t really the right answer,” he added.

A recent Gallup survey found that lockdowns have contributed to a record mental health decline, with social distancing and stay-at-home orders identified by the CDC as likely culprits of “adverse mental or behavioral health conditions.”

The American Institute for Economy Research (AIER) also released a report in November affirming that virtually all aspects of day-to-day life, including mental health, the economy, unemployment, and crime, have been harmed by the COVID-19 lockdowns.