The total cost of border patrols between Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., are expected to hit roughly $850,000 by the time the provincial order expires on Wednesday, according to the police force in the nation’s capital.
The Ottawa Police Service told Global News that the Ontario government has confirmed it will reimburse the local force in full for the costs to maintain the border checkpoints.
Global News has reached out to Ontario’s solicitor general to confirm the payment.
Ontario’s interprovincial land borders have been closed to non-essential travel since April 19 under a government order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 variants of concern.
What began as 24-7 checkpoints were reduced to rolling patrols a few days into the order.
Police Chief Peter Sloly and Mayor Jim Watson were vocal in their dissatisfaction with the policy, which was called a drain on police resources and a barrier to Quebec residents who commute into Ottawa every day.
Ontario Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones confirmed Monday that the provincial order tightening the borders, which expires on June 16, will not be renewed.
Quebec, which had instituted its own border closures on the Gatineau side, said it will lift its provincial travel restrictions Wednesday as well amid improving COVID-19 case figures on both sides of the border.
Watson lauded the decision to lift restrictions on Monday.
“After months of wasted police resources to control travel around the NCR, our two highly integrated economic regions will greatly benefit from this decision,” he wrote on social media.