Police checkpoints to limit non-essential travel will continue at Ottawa-Gatineau crossings
Ottawa Police to stop 24/7 monitoring of inter-provincial border crossings.
OTTAWA -- Police will continue to set up checkpoints at Ottawa-Gatineau interprovincial crossings to limit non-essential trips during the May long weekend.
Both Ottawa police and Gatineau police told CTV News Ottawa that officers will continue random checkpoints at the five bridges and ferry crossings to limit non-essential trips until the Ontario and Quebec governments issue new directives for travel.
Ottawa police began setting up the checkpoints on April 19 when Ontario implemented a stay-at-home order, which included restrictions on interprovincial travel. The province said travellers from Quebec could only enter the province if they live or work in Ontario, are transporting goods or receiving medical care.
After two days of around-the-clock checkpoints at interprovincial crossings, Police Chief Peter Sloly announced police will scale back operations to conduct random checkpoints at the crossings.
Ontario unveiled its Roadmap to Reopen on Thursday, a three-step process for reopening activities and the economy following the current COVID-19 stay-at-home order. This weekend, outdoor recreational amenities can reopen, including golf courses and tennis courts, and outdoor gatherings will be expanded to five people.
However, Ontario's rules restricting non-essential travel into the province will remain in effect until the stay-at-home order ends on June 2. Premier Doug Ford's office confirms to CTV News Ottawa that the interprovincial travel restrictions will continue under the order.
Ottawa police told CTV News Ottawa officers will continue the random checkpoints at the interprovincial crossings.
Mayor Jim Watson told CTV Morning Live that the border checkpoints have cost Ottawa police $600,000 and counting. The province has said it will reimburse the costs.
The Quebec government followed Ontario and implemented a ban on non-essential travel between the two provinces on April 19.
Gatineau police tell CTV News Ottawa that police will continue to set up checkpoints to limit non-essential travel.
"Random checkpoints will continue to take place. It is up to the Quebec government to decide when these will end," they said in a statement.
Watson is urging residents to stay home over the long weekend and until the stay-at-home order ends.
"It's not helpful to have that kind of traffic going over there, unless you work, unless for compassionate reasons and so on," said Watson. "We ask people to stay here."
Ottawa police told CTV Morning Live earlier this week that five per cent of Quebec motorists entering Ottawa have been turned away because their trips were deemed non-essential.
"The most common I would say is shopping, people come across for their groceries," said Sgt. Eddy Yeoumans.
"They're also coming across for Kijiji pick-ups, Marketplace pickups, visit family and friends and even we've been an increase in leisure excuses saying they want to come to the tulip festival and even just enjoy the nice weather here in the Ontario side."