After Canadians responded with outrage in response to recent draconian lockdown measures, a top Canadian official is apologizing and admitting to government overreach. We ‘went too far,” admitted Ontario Premier Doug Ford concerning his government’s measures which saw swarms of police entering churches and stopping people on the streets.
“Last Friday, in response to extremely troubling modeling that told us we could see well over 15,000 cases a day, we moved fast to put these measures in place to reduce mobility, but we moved too fast,” Ford told reporters. “And I know that some of those measures — especially around enforcement — they went too far.”
“Simply put, we got it wrong,” he said. “We made a mistake. These decisions, they left a lot of people very concerned. In fact, they left a lot of people angry and upset. I know we got it wrong. I know we made a mistake. And for that, I’m sorry and I sincerely apologize.”
The government measures were widely criticized and included banning outdoor gatherings of unrelated people, and even stopping construction workers on “non-essential” building projects. That rule, which caught many by surprise, took effect April 17. They also capped attendance for all worship services, funerals, weddings, christenings, and bar and bat mitzvahs to only 10 people according to Yahoo News.
Overzealous police were filmed in more than one instance — attempting to shut down worship services even before the attendance cap was supposed to go into effect.
In Muskoka, police showed up at Life Church telling church leaders they had to halt their worship service and close the church despite the fact that the congregation was fully compliant with the 15% capacity limit and all other health measures in place at the time.
Also concerning were encounters with police on the street. Police were given the power to pull aside Ontarians at random on the streets and highways, or just walking down the street, to ask them why they are not at home, demand their addresses, and force them into compliance with health orders. Many said it reminded them of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries in which citizens were forced to “show their papers.”
Canadian news reports show that no one was spared by Ford’s measures including police policing children as young as 12 years of age.
Lincoln Jay travelled to Gravenhurst, Ontario to investigate the incident involving the 12-year-old boy who was shoved off his scooter by an Ontario Provincial Police officer who was enforcing COVID restrictions.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) April 22, 2021
“The reason I’m here and I’m apologizing [is] because we moved too quickly,” Ford said of the orders that allowed police to take these actions. “[I] want to tell the people of Ontario, I’ve never, ever directed the police. I never have. I never will.”
But the premier failed to mention the treatment of houses of worship at the hands of police forces.
In September, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms warned Ford against reimplementing lockdowns, particularly on churches.
“There is broad concern amongst churches and business owners that Premier Ford will bend to cries to return to repressive lockdowns of places of worship and other aspects of society, despite dramatically lower rates of deaths and hospitalizations than occurred during the spring,” the JCCF said in a statement at the time. “Churches are witnessing the damaging consequences of lockdowns on the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being of their parishioners and other citizens, and have cautioned that further lockdowns preventing the exercise of Charter freedoms of religion, assembly, and association will be challenged in the courts.”
As of Wednesday, roughly 46% of Ontario residents have a negative view of Ford, according to Reuters, a nine-point spike from just one week earlier.
The premier said he has no plans to resign, despite calls for him to do so.
–CBN News Service