OPP To Enforce Fines And Penalties Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

OPP says they will enforce three offences along with set fines, now included in the Provincial Offences Act, to those that do not close certain businesses or institutions and limit gatherings to 50 people or less.

ONTARIO - The Ontario Provincial Police says they want to make everyone is aware of how police services are expected to respond to the provincial government's recent health emergency declaration in relation to limiting the transmission of COVID-19.

Although voluntary compliance is always preferred, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), individuals and businesses will face consequences that choose to defy the Act while it is in force.

Not complying with the expert advice that was provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health to close certain businesses and institutions, along with limiting gatherings to 50 people or less, the Provincial Offences Act (POA) has been updated to include three offences to be enforced by police, along with set fines per offence:

▪ Fail to comply with an order - Part I - Fine of $750 

▪ Obstructions of Person - Fine of $1,000 

▪ Corporations - Fine of $500,000

The OPP continues to provide public safety services to the communities we serve and support the efforts of federal, provincial and local health authorities during the current situation involving COVID-19. 

Facilities/Services Affected By the Declaration of Emergency

OPP say the following establishments are required to remain closed until further notice:

·      all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout and food delivery;

·      all facilities providing indoor recreational programs;

·      all public libraries;

·      all private schools;

·      all licensed child care centres;

·      all movie cinemas and all theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms; and,

·      all concert venues.

Also, all organized public events of over 50 people are prohibited including parades, events and communal services within places of worship. These orders will remain in place until March 31, 2020, when the province government will reassess for an extension or end the closures.

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