What is the law?

On March 31st, the Ontario government passed an order (O Reg 114/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) that gives police and all provincial offenses officers the power to require anyone they think is breaking emergency laws to show them identification (ID).

This gives massive new powers to law enforcement. In addition to police, any provincial offenses officers including some municipal bylaw officers, campus officers, TTC and other transportation constables, community housing constables, public health officers, and others can now require people to carry and produce ID with their correct name, date of birth, and address on request. It also allows these officers to charge and fine you for not giving them your ID. If you don’t correctly identify yourself you can now get a fine of $750 for “Failure to Comply” or $1,000 for obstructing the officer.

In addition, the City of Toronto signed emergency order No. 1 (on April 1) and emergency order No. 2 (on April 3) to create new physical distancing rules in City of Toronto parks and public squares. Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can get a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. Officers could issue higher tickets where courts can rule on fines of up to $5,000 upon conviction. Many other municipalities have done the same.

This order is dangerous for many reasons.

First, it increases the risk of police and other officers abusing their powers. It makes it possible for a much larger number of law enforcement officers to give tickets and to stop and harass people in public on arbitrary suspicion of breaking emergency laws.

Second, like carding or street checks, it can mean racial profiling and an increased risk of arrest and detention. Basically, it gives many law enforcement officers an excuse to stop and question people for whatever reason they want. This is particularly dangerous for Black and Indigenous communities and raises the risk that migrants can be stopped, arrested, and detained for immigration reasons by police or other law enforcement officers. In fact, at this time, essentially the only way someone can end up being detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is if the police arrest someone and then call them (CBSA, which carries out immigration detentions and deportations is not doing proactive investigations or arrests due to the crisis). This order greatly increases the number of interactions with frontline law enforcement on issues of identification, which in turn greatly increases the risk of CBSA being called.

Thirdly, because many non-status migrants – especially poor and/or under-housed migrants – do not even have identification, they may end up arrested or fined as a result. For example, when a person makes a refugee claim, their Identification documents are taken by CBSA. Though they are usually given a temporary identification, it expires in a short period and can’t be renewed. As well, it is often very hard for homeless people in shelters (including those who are not migrants) to get or hold on to ID.

Finally, this order is bad for public health. It means that migrant workers, who are already the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis and who must often continue working in essential services, are driven further underground and face greater challenges in accessing critical transportation, health, and housing services. COVID-19 is spreading quickly in courts, jails and immigration detention centres and orders forcing people to show their ID will make the spread even worse, putting many lives at risk.

We must work together to fight this unfair order!

Additionally, doctors and other healthcare workers have expressed concerns that these powers will not assist public health but will actually make things worse:


"Increasing police powers under the guise of emergency measures for COVID19, has no bearing upon safeguarding the health of people living in Canada. Rather, it is simply an extension of colonial oppression and White Supremacy, that remain the foundations of this country. It will target those whose privileges do not extend to citizenship, residency, or the means to self-isolate, or work from home, yet whose labour is critical to the economic well-being of this land. It is a wasteful use of resources that would be much better used to provide housing, paid sick leave, living wages, and health care for all."

Dr. Jim Sugiyama, a physician with extensive experience providing healthcare for migrants and refugees, including those with precarious immigration status in Toronto


"The clients I work with are already disproportionately impacted by policing and are already starting to experience heightened racial profiling by police under COVID19. I witness the negative health impacts of criminalization against poor and racialized people daily. Increasing police and punitive enforcement will not protect public health but it will threaten the health and safety of people, especially Indigenous, Black and other racialized people, those with precarious immigration status, sex workers, drug users and those experiencing homelessness. If these measures go through, it will be made very clear who the government does and doesn't consider as part of the "public" in public health."

Dr. Nanky Rai, a family physician working closely with people experiencing homelessness and people who use drugs in Toronto.


It is important for us to work together to fight against expanded police powers. We cannot police ourselves out of this public health crisis! Instead of turning against each other through community surveillance and policing and turning against those most vulnerable, we require solidarity-based approaches that enable us to support each other through this crisis. We must especially provide the missing support and resources for physical distancing to groups who do not have such privilege – the poor, the racialized, the marginalized.

Urge the Ontario government to immediately rescind O Reg 114/20 and municipal governments to stop punitive policing measures against marginalized communities immediately!

We are asking you and/or your organization to sign on to this letter, it will be sent to the Ontario Provincial and City of Toronto Government asking them to stop this unjust order!

Name Organization
Vincent Wong International Human Rights Program at University of Toronto
Mac Scott Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Elene Lam Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network)
Nikisha Khare No One Is Illegal
Kate Shao
Kelly Lui
Christine Swearing
Jessica Hales Street Health
Regine Schmid
Sima Atri Social Justice Lawyer
Benjamin Hognestad
Vidhya Elango No One is Illegal
Harry Au
Kelly Turnbull OCAP
Anna Willats
Edna Gonzalez S4 Collective
Sarah Ferland Elizabeth Fry Toronto
wendy forrest Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Jonathan Wright Ontario coalition against poverty
Linda Mussell
Hadley Howes Queen's University
Angela NP
Lisa Guenther Queen's University
Serene Kabir
Pearl Leung
Adrienne Mak
Liam Michaud
Destiny Samaroo The Yonge Street Mission
Kelley Sykes The Redwood (VAW shelter)
Justin Kong CCNCTO
Lee Fleming
Susie Showers
Stefan Wasylyk
Diana Yoon Friends of ChinatownTO
Andrew Woodrow-Butcher
Blake Reátegui Climate Justice Peel, FOOD @ COP/Zero Hour Ambassadors
Anjum Sultana Millennial Womxn In Policy
Charlotte Zhang
Dr. Katie Hemsworth Nipissing University
AJ B Caremongering in Peel
Anjum Sultana Millennial Womxn In Policy
Madeleine Ritts
Tave Cole Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre
JIm Sugiyama Taddle Creek Family Health Team
uswa habib
Stefan Baral Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Roxie Danielson Street Nurses Network
Clinton Reid Collective Impact
Bining, Ramndeep Truck Drivers During Coronavirus
James Franze
Jen Ko
Daniel Gruetter
Bushra Asghar
Arianne Di nardo
Priya prabhakar
Maureen Gans
Cathy Crowe Shelter and Housing Justice Network
Dallas Jokic
Kathryn Tait
renee nadeau individual
Thomas Man
Edward Wong CCNCTO/Tkaronto (Toronto) Mutual Aid/Lausan
Tanya Aberman Sanctuary Students Solidarity & Support Collective
Sarah Ford University of Toronto
Graeme Bacque
Nisha Kansal
Akuah Frempong Climate Justice Toronto
Laura St Amant
Jed Anderson
Adam Willett
Scooter Jay
Iain Campbell
Jacqueline Vincent, MD University of Toronto
Arianne Di Nardo
Lorraine Chuen Friends of Chinatown Toronto
Maria Leis University of Toronto
Chantal Phillips U of T's Black Medical Students Association
Shellie Zhang Friends of Chinatown TO
Brendan Arnott
Sujay Nagaraj U of T

Helena Kita
Anne-Emanuelle Birn
Marjorie Francis SRCHC
Leigha Petrone
Alissa Trotz University of Toronto
Felicia Tai University of Toronto
Griffin Epstein
Abeer Majeed
Fitsum Areguy African, Caribbean and Black Network of Waterloo Region
Amanda Whitten Family Physician
Semir Bulle Black Medical Students’ Association
Randy Davis
Laura Rafferty
Helen Zenf University of Toronto
Agnieszka Forfa
Ellie Ade Kur
Mark Robert Brill
Beric German
Alessandra Ceccacci UofT Medicine
Mei-ling Wiedmeyer
Shavonne Somvong
Katarina Bogosavljevic University of Ottawa
Jayoti Rana
Sarah Khan
Anne Wong
Andy Afenu University of Toronto
Ashna Parbhakar
Alex McClelland University of Ottawa
Zoë Dodd Toronto Overdose Prevention Sociery
Anna Lippman
Taylor Jordan
Kate Atkinson
Bob Rose Parkdale Eviction Resistance Network
Jose Moreno
Tarek Ibrahim UofT Faculty of Medicine
anne egger Nurse Practitioner
Brendan Chan Democratic Socialists of America - Libertarian Socialist Caucus
Simran Dhunna CareMongering Peel
Jesse Ravindran
Melissa Mae-Ng
Bri Vermeer
Shiyana Alexandra Hunter
Adrienne Mak
Hayley Smuts Sherbourne Health
Shawna Howe
Smita Pakhale Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Iye n Sanneh st.stephens/street health/fred victor/blackcap/capud/thra
Bob Rose Parkdale Eviction Resistance Network
Nanky Rai Family Physician in Toronto
Chris Spiess
Alexandra Liu University of Toronto, School of Medicine
Nicholas Wong
Claire Bodkin
Lisa Nussey Keeping Six
Jodi Koberinski Earth Education League
Sarah Griffiths MD
Emma Nelson
Alanna Dickinson
Mita Hans CareMongering-TO
Bilal Bagha
Padmaja Sreeram
Farah Shroff
Sid Drmay
meg feheley
Lesley Wood York University, Department of Sociology
Lex Burgoyne OCAD Student Union
Catherina Torontonian
Colleen Cameron PHM Canada
Joyce Arthur FIRST Decriminalize Sex Work
Geoffrey Sem University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
Cynthia Wright
Suzanne Shoush Indigenous Family Physician, University of Toronto
Alex Tigchelaar Concordia University
Kapri Rabin Street Health Community Nursing Foundation
Audrey Huntley No More Silence
Vivian Leung University of Toronto
Rhonda Sussman Communist Party of Canada
Jamie Magnusson University of Toronto
Danica Drago
Mariajosé Aguilera
Jessica Arteaga
Alannah Fricker Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Ryerson
Anit Saini
muna dahir queen’s university
Madeleine Deschenes Student at UofT Med
Sara E Garnett Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance
Nasim Asgari
graham jordan
Marzian Alam
Suleka Ismail
Saima Khan
Jessica Evans Assistant Professor (LTF) Ryerson Universtiy
Gunjan Chopra People's Healing Fund, Toronto/Tkaronto Mutual Aid
Melanie Carrington
Louis esmé
Sylvia Grady
Dennis Morrison Tech maintenance
Alec Butler University of Toronto
S Swartz Showing Up for Racial Justice - Toronto
Jessica Lyons RN
Asha Bruce
Melanie Spence Registered Nurse
Catherine Jeffery
Jamilla Mohamud
Craig Fortier Department of Social Development Studies, University of Waterloo
Ian Reynolds
Sherry Ostapovitch
Nicola Gailits University of Toronto
Ahmad Faisal Qaderi Regent Park CHC
Trish Starling University of Toronto
Leah Watkiss Collaborative Network to End Exploitation
johanna lewis SURJ Toronto // York University
Alex Mlynek SURJ Toronto
Priscila Tchorbadjian SURJ
Samantha Spady
Laura McKinley York University
Sarah Gayman
Tom Malleson SURJ Toronto // King's University College at Western University
Alexandra Florescu
Rhiannon Thomas COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program
Monisha Persaud U of T Medicine
Gary Kinsmaan Professor Emeritus, Lauentian University
Khalood Kibria University of Toronto
Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform
Elizabeth Prowell
Varka Kalaydzhieva
Jett Graham-Laberge
Shannon Tran
Cindy Tran York University
Kate Werneburg
Jelena Vermilion Sex Workers' Action Program of Hamilton
SWAN Waterloo Sex Workers' Action Network of Waterloo Region
Hilary Stone University of Toronto
Luke Barton Veljkovic TBLGAY volunteer
Anna Chen University of Toronto
Kenya Costa-Dookhan University of Toronto
Matteo L. Cerilli TBLGAY
Emma McCallum
Jasmine Duong TBLGAY
Victor Hua TBLGAY
Claudyne Chevrier SWWAC
Bess Jarvis
Jennifer Lebel
Andrea Chen
Cheryl Auger
Ushma Purohit University of Toronto
Diana Kurtzer
Petra Molnar International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto
Zach Sommers
Lee Berkowitz SURJ Toronto
Mary Williams
Tatiana Wugalter Showing Up for Racial Justice - Toronto
LeRoi Newbold FreedomSchool - Toronto
Madelina Citizen
Kelly White Street Health Overdose Prevention Site
Chandni Desai University of Toronto
Christine Wu York University
Amy Venner ACCKWA (The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area)
Cornelius Talmadge
Kiké Roach Unifor Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson
Lauren Moses-Brettler Up With Women
Marion Roberts Street Health Community Nursing Foundation
Sukhpreet Sangha Esq.
Anne-Marie Singh Ryerson University
Johanna Macdonald Parkdale Community Legal Services
Graham Hudson Ryerson University
Karalyn Reuben
Annette Bailey Ryerson University
Paula Bourque
Carol Sutherland Vice President Services and Finance, Continuing Education Students Union Ryerson
Tania Ruiz-Chapman
Judy Rebick
Donelle Fraser Showing Up for Racial Justice
b.h. Yael Professor, OCAD University
Carolina Jimenez
Shani K Parsons
Debbie Douglas OCASI- Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Jack Ditommaso
Nneka MacGregor WomenatthecentrE
Faisa M
Dagoberto Contreras
Emily Kovacs Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
Randa Meshki COPA
Shalini Konanur South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Reed Siemieniuk
Mandi Gray PhD Candidate, York University
Moy Wong-Tam Centre for Immigrant and Community Services
Angela Hou
Sasha Hoffman University of Toronto
Bella Lyne Climate Justice Toronto
A.W. Peet University of Toronto
Yollande YDMP consulting
Charlie Jupp-Adams
Gini Dickie
Alexa Kirkland
Valerian Marochko London Cross Cultural Learner Centre
Gwyneth Mitchell
Aina-Nia Ayo’dele Sacred Women International
Martha O’Brien Fred Victor/Street Health
Nicolas Di Lollo SURJ Toronto
Amanda T Murphy
Joyce Rankin Street Health
Sabrina Morrison Ribbon Rouge - African, Caribbean Black Caucus of Alberta
Dr. James Deutsch University of Toronto
Emily Rourke
Sephton Spence Kubbie construction
Ninotchka Sequeira Independent Mental Health/social worker/therapist
Saint-Phard Desir CESOC
Mary-Jo Nadeau Toronto resident
Zoe Medland Habitat services
Jin Haritaworn York University
Richard Fung
Sonja Anderson
Shawn Working on it
Richard Fung
Avvy Go Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Renee Dumaresque SURJ Toronto// York University
Annette Bazira-Okafor University of Toronto
Emily Hill
Rob Howarth Toronto Neighbourhood Centres
Rachel Miuehrer Showing up for Racial Justice - Toronto
marcie ponte
Noam Lapid Street Nurses Network
Kayla Couture
Dr. Trevor Morey
Emily Schepers
Melissa Singh York University
Alina Chatterjee Scadding Court Community Centre
Josefina Perez-Rengifo
Amy Soberano Social Worker
Abrah McKeen 350 Toronto
Jillien Hone Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
Cynthia du Mont West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre
Charlotte Horiatellis Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
Sharmini Fernando Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre
Beth Jordan
Joan Jothi Saldanha Jothi Creative Wellness Inc.
Prabha Khosla ReFocus Consulting
Camille Turner York University PhD candidate
Tamam McCallum
Arlene Moscovitch
Malini Singh TNO-The Neighbourhood Organization
John Campey Ralph Thornton Community Centre
Benny Swive
Sameena Eidoo University of Toronto
Jenny Carson Ryerson University
Nicola Alexis-Brooks
Tim McCaskell
Mathura Karunanithy n/a
Maya Roy YWCA Canada
Julie Chamberlain York University
Amy de Nobriga
EDMUND FRYE Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
Greg Andre-Barrett Retired
Vera Callaghan Mrs.
Anke Heiser
Deena Ladd Workers' Action Centre
Mike Hoolboom
Sedina Fiati
Jennie Vengris McMaster University
Adrien Hall
Sandra Ka Hon Chu
Janine Manning
Pam Frache Fight for $15 and Fairness
Matthew McGarr University of Toronto Medical School
Dr. Tope Adefarakan Independent
Nicholas Carverhill
Sané Dube Alliance For Healthier Communities
Kendall Mar Fridays For Future Toronto
Sundus Zuberi University of Toronto
Katherine Walker-Jones
Nicole Penak York University
Fizza Mir
Mackenzie Kinmond Social Worker
Lahoma Thomas Ryerson University
Gillian Graham A Primary Health Care Provider and concerned citizen
Assiatou Diallo TAAB Community Care
Anna Marie Hubbard
Joel Hentges
Laura Peberdy University of Toronto / Food courier
Corine Hibbert-Samuels
O. Soyinka
Gwen Deegan
Darien Taylor
Shine Jiyoun Chung Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth
Rick Kelly Just Us: A Centre for Restorative Practices
Emma Palumbo
Ken Moffatt Jack Layton Chair, Ryerson University
Nigel Carvalho York University
Polo Lonergan We Are Oshawa
Stephanie Holko
Chelsea Braun RN
Brian Champ
Shaina Agbayani Rootcare
John Liss
Maïna Béland-Rahm
Oskar Eliashevsky Women’s College Hospital
Michiko Bown-Kai The United Church of Canada
Cara Gold
Jules Vodarek Hunter SURJ Toronto
Ahmahkyah Malcolm-Witter City of Toronto
Emily Johnson
Jennifer Stone Neighbourhood Legal Services
Barry Weisleder Socialist Action
Laurie Lee-Glover University of Toronto
Mary Gellatly Parkdale Community Legal Services
Nick De Carlo Retired
Ines Rios Immigrants Working Centre
Nancy LaPlante
Melissa Jean-Baptiste Vajda Kensington Bellwoods Community Legal Services
Mosa McNeilly
Justin Sawyer AVI Victoria
Cynthia Nomanee
Grayson Alabiso-Cahill
Emily Sadowski
Dani Pacey SURJ Toronto
Robert Ridgway
Marty Fink Ryerson Univeristy
Anna R Trowbridge
Sasha Tate-Howarth SURJ Toronto
Paulysha De Gannes
Erin Baird York University
anne egger Nurse Practitioner
Debbie Watson Concerned citizen
John Baumann
Tariq Amin-Khan Ryerson University
Sarah Wayland HIPC
Don Seymour Wesley Hamilton
Kojo Damptey Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion
Jacqui Gingras Dept. of Sociology, Ryerson University
Justin Barca
Sharon Floyd Interim Place
Kemba King
L Pitchford
Kai Ip Wong Asian Community AIDS Services
John M. Darling Member Ontario New Democratic Party
Randy Roberts Brantford Substance Users Network
Zahir Kolia Ryerson University
Lynn Lavallee Ryerson University
Hugh Tye Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
Kathy Wang
Catherine Macdonald Alliance for Healthier Communities
Matthew Teghtmeyer
Keli Bellaire
Anne Gloger East Scarborough Storefront
Umema Sharafali
Nisha Kansal OHIP for All
Beth Helmers Community Arts Guild
Dana Gore Registered Nurse
Loubert Richard
Kojo Damptey Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion
Lindsay Snow Algonquin College
Arnav Agarwal
freygl gertsovski
Simone Rosenberg

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