Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, along with Attorney General Critic Gurratan Singh and Anti-Racism Critic Laura Mae Lindo, released the following statement:
“Black, Indigenous and racialized Ontarians are more at risk of getting COVID-19, yet Doug Ford is refusing to give those communities the supports they need to stay safe — and now is bringing in vague enforcement orders that can be used to disproportionately target BIPOC folks.
According to experts, paid sick days, isolation centres, banning evictions, access to testing in your own neighbourhood, and ramping up vaccinations are all absolutely necessary to stop the spread.
Yet, while denying folks those things, Doug Ford is doubling down on enforcement demands. BIPOC communities and research from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) have highlighted the ways enforcement of COVID-19 rules has disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous and racialized people — and enforcement measures announced Tuesday will only make that worse. Because the government’s orders have been vague, confusing and contradictory, they could increase the kind of carding and racial profiling that has long targeted BIPOC folks in Ontario, and still continues to this day.
The Ford government must act immediately to ensure COVID-19 restrictions are completely clear so that enforcement can be fair, proportional and documented. There needs to be a clear process for recourse. BIPOC folks and those from other over-policed communities deserve a guarantee that the stay-at-home order won’t result in them being treated differently.”