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Quebec police turn away 2,300 drivers at Gatineau-Ottawa border, but numbers are improving

"The message is getting across," said Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin.
2020-04-01 quebec border ottawa checkpoint
Quebec provincial police at Ottawa-Gatineau border. Photo/ OttawaMatters Staff

Gatineau police and city officials say, although they've turned away thousands of vehicles at the provincial border, residents are learning.

Since its implementation on April 1, Gatineau Police and Surete du Québec have turned away 2,300 vehicles at roadside checkpoints along the Ottawa-Gatineau border.

"At the beginning, it was 10 per cent of all the cars we stopped -- Monday it was 4 per cent," said Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau. "So I think the message is getting across."

The mayor added that it isn't ideal, but the system is efficient and will be in place for as long as necessary. 

"We're all uncomfortable, especially between Gatineau and Ottawa," he explained. "We [are] used to [being] good neighbours, but these days being a good neighbour also means to stay at home and not to visit."

The Sûreté du Québec says the checkpoints will not target activities that provide health care and services or essential services.

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