Ottawa-Gatineau border checkpoints to end Wednesday
OTTAWA -- Border restrictions between Ontario and Quebec will end this Wednesday, allowing Ottawa and Gatineau residents to freely cross the river without going through police checkpoints.
Ontario's order preventing non-essential travel into Ontario from Quebec and Manitoba will expire on Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and will not be renewed, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones’s office said Monday.
And the Quebec government says it will also reopen its border to Ontarians who wish to travel as of Wednesday.
"This reopening applies to anyone wishing to travel between the two provinces, without exception," the office of Quebec's public safety minister said in a release.
Ottawa police have been establishing checkpoints to curb travel between the provinces, turning away Quebec drivers who weren’t coming into Ontario for work or another essential reason.
Police started setting up the checkpoints April 19. As of the end of May, they had cost the service about $600,000. On Monday, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said the cost had risen to $800,000.
"It's costing $800,000, we anticipate as promised, the province will pay for that, it should not be local taxpayers," he said.
In a tweet, Watson applauded the decision."After months of wasted police resources to control travel around the NCR, our two integrated economic regions will greatly benefit from this decision," he tweeted.
The new rules mean as of Wednesday, Ottawa residents who want to eat indoors at Gatineau restaurants will be allowed to do so. Ontario restaurants aren't yet open for indoor dining.