71 tickets issued for illegal gatherings at private residences in Ottawa during current stay-at-home order

OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw officers have issued dozens of tickets for illegal private gatherings, non-essential businesses staying open and for violations in Ottawa parks during the currently COVID-19 shutdown and stay-at-home order.

Since the Ontario government imposed the shutdown on Ottawa April 3, Ottawa Bylaw officers have issued 163 tickets for contraventions of Provincial Orders and the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The Ontario government moved Ottawa into a shutdown on April 3 in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions included all non-essential businesses and restaurants closing for in-person shopping and dining and no gatherings indoors or outdoors with people outside your household. Ontario imposed a stay-at-home order on April 8.

According to statistics provided to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Bylaw officers have issued 71 tickets for illegal gatherings at private residences since April 3. The fine for a gathering at a private residence is $880 under Ontario’s COVID-19 rules.   Ottawa Bylaw also issued a ticket at an illegal gathering on April 24 to an individual for “obstruct any person exercising a power in accordance with an order made during a declared emergency.”

Three tickets have been issued for illegal gatherings in Ottawa’s parks, including two over the Victoria Day long weekend.

Bylaw officers have issued 43 tickets in Ottawa parks since April 27 for Section 22 violations. Ottawa Bylaw did not provide any details on the violations associated with the tickets in Ottawa parks.

The Ontario government closed all outdoor recreational amenities in parks, including tennis courts, skate parks and basketball courts in mid-April.  Ottawa’s medical officer of health issued an order in late April requiring masks be worn by parents and children on and near playground equipment.

Seventeen charges were issued to non-essential businesses remaining open despite the stay-at-home order. Ottawa Bylaw did not name the businesses, but the establishments included two barber shops and two nail salons.

A barber shop and a fitness centre were also charged under Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw.

A place of worship in Ottawa’s Rideau-Rockcliffe ward was fined on April 11 for exceeding capacity limits.

Bylaw charged a restaurant in Osgoode ward on April 24 for opening a patio in contravention of Ontario’s COVID-19 pandemic rules. Restaurants in Innes ward and Gloucester-Southgate were also charged for offering indoor dining during the stay-at-home order.

Ottawa Bylaw did not release the names or addresses of the restaurants. 

Information provided to CTV News Ottawa from Ottawa Bylaw shows eight charges were issued at a gym in Ward 9 on May 5 for violating a Section 22 order issued by Ottawa’s medical officer of health for gyms and fitness centres. Dr. Vera Etches issued a Section 22 Class order saying indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities are only allowed to open for persons with a disability, and patrons attending a facility must show proof of written instruction for physical therapy. 

Ottawa’s general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte announced on May 5 that Lift 613 Gym on Jaime Avenue in Ottawa’s Ward 9 was ordered to close for violating COVID-19 rules.  Gyms and fitness centres must remain closed under the current stay-at-home order in Ontario.

Ontario began to loosen the current rules under the stay-at-home order on May 22, allowing people to gathering in groups of up to five people outdoors.

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