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Ontario Stay-at-Home Order - can we go fishing, or not?


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1) Doug Ford just issued a stay at home order to commence first thing Thursday, to go at least 28 days and probably longer.

Ontario Declares Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives

2) He said that he didn't want to issue a "curfew" like they have in Quebec, and implied that a "stay at home" order would be less onerous. To me, it looks worse!  Read on... 

3) Quebecers who are currently under curfew are allowed to go out fishing, provided they don't head out before 5am, and are back home by 8pm. You can only recreate outdoors with people in your "family bubble". 

4) Hotels and motels in Quebec remain open, and it appears as though you could drive up north to go fishing, return to a hotel room by 8pm, and then go out fishing the next day. I'm not sure about this, but it looks to be the case. 

5) In Ontario, we are not curfewed at 8pm. We could still go to the grocery store after 8pm, for instance.

6) From the link above, "Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely."

and

"Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted  purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely." [emphasis mine]

Fishing is pretty good outdoor exercise, isn't it?  Does this mean we can enjoy the outdoors by going fishing? What could be better social isolation than sitting on a frozen lake?

The rules during "grey lockdown" were pretty clear - it was still OK to go fishing, and stay at motel, and travel around the province, and so on. They "advised" folks to stay at home, but there was no "order". It's different now. It appears that law enforcement has been given a lot of latitude to write tickets this time, unlike this spring when there were lots of rumours but no hard evidence:

"The province will provide authority to all provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order, ..." 

But what is a ticketable offence? Can you go ice skating? Can you to the toboggan hill? Can you drive up north to your cottage? Can you drive up north to go ice fishing? 

This spring there were plenty of advisements, suggestions, and requests not to travel, not to go up north fishing, but there were no laws preventing us from doing so. I went fishing and climbing, and I didn't break any laws. But is it different this time?  Please post your links to support your opinions.  Not a lot of information out there right now. 

Cheers, eh?
Pete
 

Edited by passthepitonspete
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No hearsay. Share facts and sources.  Attempted Clarification from Global News just now Relevant pieces selected, less relevant deleted: “Under this order, everyone must stay home and o

It’s going to be up to municipalities if they decide to block access due to medical officer then only people with privy access will be fishing. But right now there is nothing that states we can’t fish

i think people are reading way too far into this...and the hilarity of that, is the ones the most concerned about the rules are typically people that follow the rules anyways. Just like a padlock....i

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It’s going to be up to municipalities if they decide to block access due to medical officer then only people with privy access will be fishing. But right now there is nothing that states we can’t fish and you can still have a group up to 5 at an outdoors gathering 

Edited by Terry
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38 minutes ago, passthepitonspete said:

"Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted  purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely." [emphasis mine]

Fishing is pretty good outdoor exercise, isn't it?  Does this mean we can enjoy the outdoors by going fishing? What could be better social isolation than sitting on a frozen lake?

 

Loopholes, a lot of people should go work for CRA cuz they seem to be pretty good at finding loopholes.  Driving for an extended period to go find your "excercise" seems beyond belief.   How do you think this disease spreads, by pogo sticks or people using discarded kleenexes. 

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Ford said you can go stay at the cottage just take all the supplies you need for the stay.  He said it. So I would determine traveling that far is ok. So me running 1. .5 km to my lake is golden 

 

I am sure there will be clarification in the future but for now we are good to fish for food or exercise 

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Hey Terry, 

Did Doug Ford really say that? I listened to his speech today, but didn't hear him say that. Was it during the Q&A session later? 

From this link on the CTV:  https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/questions-about-ontario-s-stay-at-home-order-answered-1.5264068

"TORONTO -- News of enhanced public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario may have some residents wondering what is, and what isn’t, considered essential under the provincial government’s new regulations.

That’s why CTV News Toronto has compiled a list of activities that are allowed and businesses that will remain open after the province’s stay-at-home order goes into effect on Jan. 14 .

Can I go to my cottage or secondary residence?

No. The government says that because it is asking residents to stay home, trips to a cottage or secondary residence should be avoided, unless it is for an essential purpose like emergency maintenance.

I booked a short-term rental getaway. Can I still go?

No. The province says that pre-arranged bookings for short-term rentals at hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts are prohibited, with exceptions for housing requirements."

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Clarification :) ‘yes’ you can run out there Terry but if the ice is thin that pressure will do you in. Walk slowly and carry a spud. 
Better to take Brian out with you.Have him test it. They also have no ‘clause’ on portable fishing huts. I would think that the “you are too $&#$#& close  distance fishing rule will be good. One good open-water cast away is fine. 
keep safe
 

 

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Repeated on the Barrie new tonight.. "if you have two residences you can pick one to reside at", but then they added "to take everything you need for your VISIT with you" That's not picking one or the other...

At this point I'm not even going to my Camp on an island, as I have no desire to come back to my truck and trailer with 8 flat tires. The pitch fork crowd is in full effect in the North...

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Go fishing, just keep it low key and don’t go with a big group of your friends and all fish in tents piled up with eachother. It’s pretty straight forward. If you and a buddy go fishing considering each taking your own car. No one is going to ever bug someone sitting in a fishing tent by themself on the middle of the lake. 

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From the premier's office

If you are out of your area you can be charged under the stay at home order.

It would be up to local OPP or bylaw officer if they would  or would not.

They also said there are no  travel restrictions in Ontario at this time.

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 This was taken from another forum.

 

I just spoke to the Premiers office.

Long story short. Fishing in OPEN. However, travelling outside of your region to fish is a violation of the Stay at Home Oder. There are no actual travel restrictions laid out in the Province. However, ticketing is up the the local municipalities. They suggest to call the local health unit if you plan on travelling, but again its up to that areas officer discretion to ticket you or not.

All you northerners lucked out big time!! I'll be hoping for cold weather for some local ice.

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40 minutes ago, RickOnt said:

 This was taken from another forum.

 

I just spoke to the Premiers office.

Long story short. Fishing in OPEN. However, travelling outside of your region to fish is a violation of the Stay at Home Oder. There are no actual travel restrictions laid out in the Province. However, ticketing is up the the local municipalities. They suggest to call the local health unit if you plan on travelling, but again its up to that areas officer discretion to ticket you or not.

All you northerners lucked out big time!! I'll be hoping for cold weather for some local ice.

What this translates to is very simple...if you and a bunch of buddies are all planning on getting together to do some ice fishing up north...you’re asking for it. 
 

if you want to go up north and keep it low key and do a bit of ice fishing, no one is going to bother you.

 

Common sense would dictate that you shouldn’t be gathering up with your friends anyways right now. 

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1 hour ago, RickOnt said:

 This was taken from another forum.

 

I just spoke to the Premiers office.

Long story short. Fishing in OPEN. However, travelling outside of your region to fish is a violation of the Stay at Home Oder. There are no actual travel restrictions laid out in the Province. However, ticketing is up the the local municipalities. They suggest to call the local health unit if you plan on travelling, but again its up to that areas officer discretion to ticket you or not.

All you northerners lucked out big time!! I'll be hoping for cold weather for some local ice.

So we're spreading heresay as gospel now? I haven't seen anything that mentions you are required to stay in your region.

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No hearsay. Share facts and sources. 

Attempted Clarification from Global News just now

Relevant pieces selected, less relevant deleted:

“Under this order, everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips to pick up groceries, or go to medical appointments,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday, adding that walking pets or exercising is still permitted. The announcement left many people looking for clarification as to what they were and weren’t still permitted to do over the next month, so a government spokesperson provided some clarification on Wednesday.

“Ontario is a big, diverse province,” Travis Kann explained in an email ...  “As such, and as we have from the very outset of this pandemic, we will continue to rely on the best judgment of Ontarians as they stay at home as much as possible and only leave their homes for essential purposes.”

The government says it also cannot decide what is an essential item for every person across Ontario although it tried to clarify what would be considered an essential trip.

“We have provided broad categories that people should consider before leaving their home: food, health-care services, including medication, exercise or work, where someone’s job cannot be done at home,” it said.

The new restrictions also allow people to gather in groups of five outdoors, which the government says it is allowing so that people who live on their own can still have company or support for mental and physical wellbeing. “Anyone gathering outside is expected to adhere to physical distancing measures and are now strongly urged to wear a mask,” the province said.

The government says that exercise is considered essential although how Ontarians choose to do so is unique to each household.

“Some may wish to go for a walk around the block, while others may wish to go to a local basketball court with their household to shoot some hoops,” the province said. “We recommend that Ontarians consult their local public health unit or municipality to understand what recreational amenities are open in their community.”

“Right now, we are asking people to stay home and only leave their home for essential purposes, which could include emergency maintenance of a secondary residence,” it says.

“In the spirit of the stay-at-home order, at this time we are not recommending intra-provincial travel.”



Much more relevant, is the announcement coming down at 1pm, as posted by CBC in this link:  

Ontario to lay out 'legal parameters' of COVID-19 stay-at-home order today

Officials suggested Tuesday that police will have 'discretion' to enforce order   [YIKES!]

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to hold a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. ET in Toronto. The province said it will publish the "legal parameters" for the order, which takes effect tomorrow, online today and offer more clarification on the measure.

As of Thursday, residents will have to stay home except for essential purposes such as grocery shopping, accessing health care and exercising. Here's what you need to know about the new rules.

The province said police and bylaw officers will have the power to enforce the stay-at-home order and issue tickets to rule-breakers, but hasn't given details on how that will play out in practice.  [YIKES AGAIN!]

Wearing a mask is also now recommended outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.

 

 

 

I guess we'll know a lot more after 1pm. I bet you guys who live up north close to the lake will be able to drive there and go out fishin' unmolested. They won't be chasing down anyone on the ice, as long as you're appropriately spread out which is easy enough to do. What better social isolation is there than ice fishing out in the Great White North? 

It's the DRIVING UP NORTH bit that worries me!  I can't help but think that in spirit of a stay-at-home order, for a guy who lives in southern Ontario but gets checked by the OPP [or even a by-law officer!] up north.  

Cop:  "So, like, how's it goin', eh?" 
Me:  "Oh beauty." 
Cop: "So, like, you live in Hamilton. Whatcha doin' way up here?" 
Me: "I am exercising and going ice fishing." 
Cop: "Like, you're supposed to stay at home, cuz, like, there's a stay-at-home order, eh? So, like, I think I have to write you a ticket, unless you can come up with a viable explanation.....?" 
Me:  {crickets}
Me: "Would you like a donut?" 

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Good stuff. I suppose the crown will argue that "Doug Ford said to stay home" is the way they will try to justify the ticket? Police issuing tickets for any of this is just grandstanding because they know it will never stand up in court. Nothing in the provincial announcement talked about travel restrictions plus the quoted heresay explicitely says there are no travel restrictions. So ya... officer I am from Hamilton, is there a law that says I cannot travel?

 

When I go ice fishing, if I am asked by an officer anything I will respond with I am getting exersize, possibly getting food and improving my mental health all while social distancing. If the officer still gives me a ticket, guess we'll see him in court. The only law that I could be possibly breaking would be a law that violates my charter right to mobility.

 

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59 minutes ago, jonasdry said:

When I go ice fishing, if I am asked by an officer anything I will respond with I am getting exersize, possibly getting food and improving my mental health all while social distancing. If the officer still gives me a ticket, guess we'll see him in court. The only law that I could be possibly breaking would be a law that violates my charter right to mobility.

 

youve already figured it out...sounds like you arent going fishing with a group of friends...then you will have no problem what so ever.

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Happened just now. In line at the carwash, there were a couple of Brantford city cops in an unmarked car next to us, so I got out and walked over and motioned for him to roll down the window which he did.

Me: "Like, I just wanted to ask yous guys about the new rules that are kicking in tomorrow..."

Cops: "Like, we don't know much about them either, eh?"

Me: "I just wanna know if I can go ice fishing?"

Cops: "Sure, why not."

Me: "Yeah, but like, I have to drive up north to do it. But what better form of isolation, out on the middle of a frozen lake."

Cops: "That sounds ok to us. 'Travelling for exercise.' "

Me*: "That's a big box of donuts you have, eh?"

Cops*: "For sure. But we, like, love donuts."

 

Hmmmm. But would all cops be so understanding. 

*I made up the last two exchanges, but the first 6 are more or less verbatim. 

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That is the million-dollar question. According to the two cops I spoke with, they wouldn't have a problem with it.

But the question remains, if you meet up with a bylaw officer walking along the pier or an overzealous cop in St Catharines, and he asks you what you're doing so far from home, it is up to him to decide if he will write you a ticket or not.

 

There is only one way to find out, eh?

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Icefishing is on the list of acceptable activities so if you have to go 40 k to get to good ice to icefish or the same to hit snowmobile trails which is another acceptable activity how can they argue 

although some stupid bylaw or police it will try to impose their own opinion of the law 

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8 minutes ago, Terry said:

Icefishing is on the list of acceptable activities

Can you please provide the link as to where you found it? 

I could only find this, from here: 

Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown

1615030689_outdooractivitiespermitted.jpg.e5b980e89b8a90e315ab518aee7828d9.jpg

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to include ice fishing [and ice CLIMBING!] in the above list. But I'd love to have "icefishing" included. 

Is "icefishing" a word? You know, like "icewine"?  ;)

Edited by passthepitonspete
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