Since Ontario has declared a state of emergency, the province is stepping up measures to keep people at home. On Tuesday night, the Ontario government announced that the public is now required to identify themselves to officers if they're caught not practicing social distancing. These social distancing rules in Ontario could result in high fines and could include up to a year in prison. 

On Tuesday, the Ontario government granted emergency powers to provincial offences officers, police officers, and First Nation Constables. 

The temporary order will allow authorities to force those violating Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) rules to disclose their name, date of birth, and address. Anyone who refuses to show ID will be fined $750.

Ontarians can also be fined $1,000 for "obstructing any person in exercising a power" if they're issued a ticket by provincial offences officer.

However, these aren't the only rules that have been put in place. According to the news release, residents could also face up to one year in jail if they're caught breaking these new emergency orders. 

"It is essential that measures are in place to allow provincial offences officers to lawfully require an individual to disclose their correct name, date of birth and address in order to protect our communities," Solicitor General Sylvia Jones wrote in a press release on Tuesday night.

"By providing provincial offences officers with this temporary power to obtain identifying information under the EMCPA, they will be able to enforce emergency orders during these extraordinary times," she added.

New emergency orders that have been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic include prohibiting gatherings of more than five people, closing all non-essential businesses, closing all recreational amenities, and stopping price gouging. 


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"It is the responsibility of all Ontarians to do their part and respect the emergency orders in place. We are supporting provincial offences officer in their critical work to enforce that responsibility and ensure the safety and well-being of Ontarians," Jones stated.

Earlier this week, the Ontario government extended the state of emergency for another two weeks as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the province. 

As of Wednesday morning, the province has seen 2,392 confirmed cases, with 37 deaths. 

So far, 689 of those cases have been reported as resolved. 

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