WRPS focused on education, enforcement during provincial stay-at-home order

The Ontario government's stay-at-home order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, but there are still plenty of questions about how the order will be enforced.

The province says police and bylaw have the power to ticket anyone who isn't following the rules.

Police Chief Bryan Larkin says he doesn't have all the specifics on enforcement yet. Still, whatever the province decides, the police chief says it's about more than fining people.

"This is not solely about enforcement, it's about engagement, it's about explaining why we're doing what we're doing, it's about education which ought to lead to compliance, and as a last resort we will, if need be, enforce the rule of law," Larkin said.

The stay-at-home order will mean that residents can only leave home for essential purposes like getting groceries or medication, working or outdoor exercise.

:If you are not at your place of residence and you need to be fined or you will be ticketed as a result of the order, they have an obligation to ask for your name, date of birth and address to lay that ticket," Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said.

The province has left enforcement up to local police and bylaw officers.

Information on enforcement was released by the province on Wednesday evening, which said police or bylaw officers need to have "reasonable and probable grounds to believe that an individual has committed an offence."

Officers can shut down a venue if they feel they're in violation of the order.

Jeff McGuire, executive director of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, said they still don't know what that will look like.

"Currently we know kind of what you know," he said.

Waterloo regional police, along with Kitchener and Waterloo bylaw officers, said they're waiting on more information from the province.

"There are some questions where we don't have answers, but I remain optimistic that the work that we're doing collectively is to really ensure the health of our community," Larkin said.

He's asking the public to follow the order and stay home.

READ MORE: Questions about the stay-at-home order answered

The province says people who break the order will face penalties in the shape of a fine or even jail time, but it's leaving the enforcement up to local police and bylaw officers.

Read more about the stay-at-home order here:

Public health orders from G... by Digital