Complete park closures possible if regulations are not followed: Watson

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OTTAWA –
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says he is not closing the door on the possibility of closing all city-owned parks, if only for a stroll, if the rules are not followed.

Over the weekend, Ottawa’s city by-laws fined residents for grouping more than five people or for using park equipment.

A total of 43 tickets were issued to residents and businesses.

The City of Ottawa allows residents to pass through the parks, but play equipment and other facilities are considered prohibited.

On Tuesday, with Leslie Roberts of CTV Morning Live, Watson said the city wanted to be lenient, but he was not opposed to closing the parks completely if people continued to break the rules.

“I don’t think we’re there yet,” said Watson, “but obviously if it continues and the message doesn’t get through, it has to be taken care of.”

Watson said the city did not want to completely close the parks.

“The province has said that we have to close the parks and we respect their decision, we think it is the right decision, but we are trying to be a little more lenient in saying if you want to walk, run or bike in the park, do it, don’t stop and chat with the neighbors, play with the equipment or start a football game. “

Watson described a tweet he saw saying that two children playing in a park quickly turned six.

“You see children in a park, other children will go and play there,” he said, “it is not a case of attacking children, it is trying to protect these children and their families to contract COVID-19 and take it home. “

The fine for failing to comply with the Ontario Emergency and Emergency Preparedness Act is $ 750. A victim surcharge increases the fine to $ 880.

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