“You give us no choice.”
Due to the current pandemic, health officials and governments have had to put in place a number of COVID-19 rules. While, for the most part, people have been doing what they’re told, there are still some who aren’t following protocol. Because of this, bylaw officers are going to start dishing out $1,200 COVID-19 fines in Canada to anyone who isn’t social distancing. As of Wednesday, April 22, the city will now be encouraging bylaw officers to give out fines to anyone refusing to social distance.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi addressed the public in a COVID-19 update alongside Chief of Emergency Management Agency Tom Sampson.
During the speech, Sampson acknowledged that he understands the necessary lifestyle changes have been difficult and people have been making efforts to support everyone’s health and safety.
While some people have been doing their part to ensure rules are followed, Sampson noted that police will be working in conjunction with bylaw enforcement officers to further ensure rules are being followed.
These officers will now have the power to issue tickets to rule breakers.
He did note that these citations will be used as a last resort and are being put in place to protect the public. In addition, he explained that it’ll be up to the officer’s judgment to decide who will get a fine.
The health and safety official called the tickets a “serious piece of impact” due to their expensive nature.
He noted that he’s been sent on calls recently that have demonstrated inappropriate behaviour.
During the same time, 811 has received 152 service requests about physical distancing concerns.
Over the same time period, there were 182 general inquiries to 811. These calls mostly had to do with people asking what they could and could not do under the current health orders.
So far, Sampson said that he believes 300 tickets have been given by Police in relation to physical distancing.