Changes to Interprovincial Crossings Operation

Posted On Tuesday April 20, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 20, 2021   6:40pm 

(Ottawa)—Effective this evening at 8 p.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) will no longer maintain a 24/7 presence at interprovincial crossings (bridges and ferries).

Instead, the OPS will deploy officers on a rotating schedule of checkpoints moving throughout all City of Ottawa interprovincial crossings on a daily basis, until the expiry of the Provincial Order.

Since the onset of the border operations, the OPS has been working closely with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) along with local stakeholders and interprovincial stakeholders (the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau, the Ontario Provincial Police, etc.) to assess any local public health, traffic and safety impacts. 

The assessment resulted in today’s operational changes.

We have been and will remain focused on our stated goal of ensuring our education, engagement and enforcement actions support improved public health outcomes and respect the concerns of our most marginalized and racialized communities all while enabling compliance with the Provincial Order restricting interprovincial travel.

The operational changes announced today are designed to better ensure the health and safety of all, to minimize delays and/or hazards for travelers and to ensure essential workers can get to their places of employment on time.

The OPS will continue to work with OPH and our partners to conduct daily assessments on the border operations.  The public will be notified of any material changes to the border operations.

We remind all members of the public to respect the Ontario Stay-at-Home order.

Who should cross the interprovincial border

This is a reminder that the circumstances for which a person can travel into Ontario from Quebec, per the Ontario government directives, include:

  • the person’s principal residence is in Ontario
  • the person is travelling to perform work in Ontario
  • the person is transporting goods into or through Ontario as part of the operation of a business that involves the transportation of goods
  • the person is travelling into Ontario for the purpose of exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right
  • the person’s health makes it necessary to travel into Ontario to obtain health care or social services
  • the travel is necessary for a humanitarian or compassionate reason  

Beyond identification to operate a motor vehicle, there are no requirements for travellers to provide documentation to officers such as a note from an employer or physician. Individuals will be required to provide their name, address and reason for travelling.

Enforcement of Provincial Authorities

These measures are in support of new public health orders issued by the Government of Ontario. The OPS began screening travellers at all Ottawa-area interprovincial border crossings on April 19th.

We are working in close collaboration with our community, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and other City of Ottawa agencies (OC Transpo, Roads/Transportation, etc.) to ensure these authorities are only used for their intended purpose of supporting public health orders and public health outcomes.

- 30 -

CONTACT:

Media Relations Section

Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366

************************************************

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday, April 18, 2021   4:00pm 

Provincial Restrictions at Interprovincial Crossings

(Ottawa) —In support of new public health orders issued by the Government of Ontario, the Ottawa Police Service will begin screening travellers at all Ottawa-area interprovincial border crossings beginning Monday, April 19th at 12:01 a.m.

Officers will be stationed on a 24-7 basis on the Ontario side of the Champlain, Portage, Chaudière and Macdonald-Cartier bridges as well as the Quyon and the Bourbonnais ferries.

We will have a presence at the Alexandra Bridge, as the Provincial Order also applies to pedestrians and cyclists. 

Our members have been called upon to support these public health efforts and we ask for the cooperation and patience of the traveling public. We are consulting with the City of Ottawa traffic management section and other traffic management specialists with the goal of ensuring safe and efficient travel while ensuring adherence to the current orders.

What can be expected

According to the new Provincial powers (see below under “Legal Authorities”), when approaching Ontario, a person may be stopped by police officers who may ask questions as to their purpose for entering the province. There will be lane reductions and turn around lanes. Please drive with care and follow the directions of officers.

In the initial 24-72 hours of this operation, officers will focus on education and awareness.

Officers will be wearing personal protective equipment including masks and eye wear. Members of the public should wear a mask when interacting with officers.

Documentation requirements

Beyond identification to operate a motor vehicle, there are no requirements to provide documentation to officers such as a note from an employer or physician. Individuals will be required to provide their name, address and reason for travelling.

Legal Authorities

According to Provincial Order O. Reg. 293/21: Persons entering Ontario from Manitoba or Quebec, no person shall travel into Ontario from Manitoba or Quebec except under specific circumstances, including:

  • the person’s principal residence is in Ontario
  • the person is travelling to perform work in Ontario
  • the person is transporting goods into or through Ontario as part of the operation of a business that involves the transportation of goods
  • the person is travelling into Ontario for the purpose of exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right
  • the person’s health makes it necessary to travel into Ontario to obtain health care or social services
  • the travel is necessary for a humanitarian or compassionate reason  

All the permitted purposes to travel into Ontario from Manitoba or Quebec can be accessed here.

The Provincial Order requires any person entering Ontario from Manitoba or Quebec to do the following when requested by a police officer: 

  • stop when instructed to do so
  • provide any available identification or documentation
  • answer any questions to assist the officer in determining whether the person is entering Ontario for a permitted purpose

If the officer reasonably believes that the person is not complying with the Provincial Order and is not entering Ontario for one of the permitted purposes, the officer can direct them to return to Quebec. 

We are working in close collaboration with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and other City of Ottawa agencies (OC Transpo, Roads/Transportation, etc.) to ensure these authorities are only used for their intended purpose of supporting public health orders and public health outcomes.

We are also consulting our community, including the Community Equity Council, to ensure community voices are part of any implementation plan. The concerns raised by racialized and marginalized communities are top of mind. We will also do our best to support the ease of passage of health care workers, city employees and other essential front line service providers who reside in Quebec but who are employed in Ontario.

We encourage all members of the public to respect the Ontario Stay-at-Home order. 

OPS will provide further details about the new authorities enacted by the Province, when available. 

- 30 -

CONTACT:

Media Relations Section

Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366