Toronto man fined $ 880 for using a pull-up bar in a local park as provinces crack down on people who disobey physical distance measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Dylan Finlay went for an afternoon run and stopped at Centennial Park in Toronto to use the drawbar.
A few minutes later, a Toronto enforcement officer stopped his vehicle and approached Finlay.
“He said he was going to sell me a ticket for that and I said” For what? “And he said,” Well, it’s closed. You need to know this, ”Finlay told CTVNews.ca Wednesday.
When Finlay protested that there was no sign that the drawbar was prohibited, he said that the officer told him, “Well, it is.”
There were signs and warning tape on the playground and the swing in the park, says Finlay, but not on the pull bar itself.
Finlay told CTVNews.ca that he is fined $ 880 for allegedly failing to comply with an emergency order declared under the Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act Ontario.
The law, which came into force in March, authorizes by-law officers to impose fines for offenses such as meeting groups of five or more people in public or private homes, gathering in parks and using park facilities or equipment, and the operation of a restaurant with dinner. -in services.
Finlay, a criminal defense lawyer, said he plans to challenge what he sees as an unfair sanction.
“It is a real risk of undermining, you know, the social goodwill that everyone has for social distancing,” he said.
While Finlay is incredulous, he is not the only one to have been hit with a heavy fine.
STRONGER ACTIONS THROUGHOUT CANADA
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that it will be “weeks” before he can seriously consider loosening some of the restrictions currently in place across the country.
“It would be terrible if we were to release the restrictions too soon and find out that we are suddenly back in another big wave of COVID-19 and that everything we have been through so far would have been useless because we will find ourselves a again in the same situation, “the Prime Minister told reporters gathered outside his home in Ottawa.
Health Canada has warned that without treatment or a vaccine, fighting the virus can take months and require waves of testing. The health agency said the current parameters under which Canadians live, such as physical remoteness and quarantined travelers, are seen as powerful controls to curb the spread of the disease.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that the outcome of these actions will ultimately be decided by Canadians and their actions.
“In the past few weeks, a lot has been done and we will have to monitor the progress of the epidemic and the trajectory every day so that we can recalibrate if necessary,” she said at a conference. press in Ottawa last week.
In Ontario, officers imposed fines under the Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act, which was extended until mid-May.
Pursuant to section 7.0.11 of the Act, fines for violation of a provincial order can range from $ 750 to $ 100,000 and can include a prison term of up to one year.
In Quebec, the province with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, the provincial police issued more than 650 tickets to people who did not comply with distance orders. Residents face fines as low as $ 1,000 plus $ 546 in fees for violating public health orders. The maximum fine can be up to $ 6,000 plus additional fees.
In British Columbia, anyone who ignores public health orders, such as the ban on group gatherings, could be fined up to $ 25,000 and sentenced to imprisonment. Municipal officers have been tasked with enforcing provincial orders under the provincial state of emergency, which was declared in March.
FINES IN OTHER PROVINCES
- New Scotland: Residents who do not practice social isolation and self-isolation could face fines of $ 1,000 for individuals, $ 7,500 for businesses. Several fines can be imposed each day on a person or a company that refuses to comply.
- New Brunswick: Anyone who fails to isolate themselves and comply with provincial distance orders can face a fine ranging from $ 292 to $ 10,200.
- Prince Edward Island: Islanders who fail to obey orders issued under the province’s Public Health Act may be subject to fines of $ 1,000 for a first offense, $ 2,000 for a second offense and $ 10,000 for a third and all subsequent offenses.
- Newfoundland and Labrador: People who fail to comply with provincial health and safety orders could face a fine of $ 500 to $ 2,500 and / or a prison term of less than six months. Business owners could face fines ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 50,000.
- Manitoba: Those who violate provincial bans on public gatherings or operate non-essential businesses can be fined $ 486 for individuals and $ 2,542 for businesses.
- Saskatchewan: Travelers returning to Saskatchewan from international destinations must isolate themselves for 14 days or face a fine of $ 2,000.
- Alberta: Albertans who do not obey the instructions to isolate themselves could be fined up to $ 1,000 for each offense. For companies that ignore public health orders, provincial courts can impose fines of up to $ 100,000 for a first offense and up to $ 500,000 for subsequent offenses.
- Yukon: Residents who ignore public health orders can face fines of up to $ 500 and prison terms of up to six months.
- Northwest Territories: The territorial government has banned all travel to the territory, with a few exceptions, and has ordered all returning residents to isolate themselves for 14 days. Anyone who disobeys the order is liable to fines of up to $ 10,000 and up to six months in prison.
- Nunavut: Those identified as the subject of an investigation for COVID-19 were ordered to self-isolate for 14 days. Those who fail to comply with the order could be fined up to $ 50,000 or imprisoned for up to six months.
With files from The Canadian Press