Release Date: April 1st, 2020 - 1:40pm
Originator: Sergeant, Milenko Cimbur, District Response Team, 20 Division, 905-825-4747, ext. 2276
Contact: Sergeant, Milenko Cimbur, District Response Team, 20 Division, 905-825-4747, ext. 2276
The Halton Regional Police Service has issued a warning to a business deemed non-essential after it was found open and operating this week.
On March 31, 2020 members of the Oakville District Response Team responded to complaints about a business in Oakville being open in contravention of the provincial order to close.
Police also received complaints that this business was selling vapour products to minors (under the age of 19 years).
As a result of the investigation, the following charges were laid pursuant to the Smoke Free Ontario Act:
• 2 x Part III Summons – Sell Vapour products to a person that is less than 19 years
• 2 x Part 1 (Provincial Offence Notices) –Sell Vapour products to a person that is less than 19 years
In relation to the designation of Essential Business, the owner of the business was issued with a Warning Notice for the offence of – Failing to Comply with an Order Made During a Declared Emergency pursuant to section EMPCA 7.0.11(1)(a).
Police also noted the following concerns:
• Customer access to the store was unregulated
• There was no screening signage for COVID 19
• There were no protective barriers protecting staff or customers
• No measurements to ensure physical distancing
• No restrictions on number of people allowed into the store at one time
From a legislative perspective, there have been a number of recent changes, both provincially and federally, in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
The Halton Regional Police Service is providing the following clarity regarding our enforcement authorities, which reflect the legislative landscape as of April 1, 2020.
Non-Essential Businesses Remaining Open
As a result of a declaration by the Province of Ontario (March 24, 2020), all non-essential establishments - as identified by the provincial government - are legally required to close.
While voluntary compliance to the guidelines laid out by the provincial government is preferred, police have been provided the authority under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to issue fines to individuals and businesses that choose to defy the Act.
The Halton Regional Police Service reminds residents with concerns about a possible offence under the Act to contact them via their COVID-19 Hotline number: 905-825-4722.
Any questions concerns related to this matter can be directed to Sgt. Milenko Cimbur at 905-825-4747, ext. 2276.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.