‘We Got It Wrong’: Ontario Premier Apologizes for Draconian Lockdown Orders

Through tears, Ontario Premier Doug Ford admitted Thursday his government’s recently imposed draconian lockdown measures “went too far.”

“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.”

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“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 criticized measures included a ban on outdoor gatherings that involved anyone other than members of one household and a halt to all “non-essential” construction work (effective April 17), as well as capping attendance for all worship services, weddings, and funerals to just 10 people (effective April 19), according to Yahoo! News Canada.

Those edicts prompted police — in more than one instance — to attempt to shut down worship services this past Sunday, hours before the attendance cap was supposed to be implemented.

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Police reportedly showed up at Life Church in Muskoka, telling ministry leaders they had to halt their worship service and close the church despite the fact that the congregation was in compliance with the 15% capacity limit, the government health order that was in place at the time.

Additionally, the measures empowered police to pull aside Ontarians at random to ask them why they are not at home, demand their addresses, and force them into compliance with health orders.

In the wake of the decision by Ford’s administration, police reportedly began aggressively policing provincial citizens, including children as young as 12 years old.

“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.”

The premier did not specifically mention churches Thursday.

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.”

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