Ottawa Bylaw issues 257 charges for violating Provincial Orders, mask violations since start of pandemic

OTTAWA — Ottawa bylaw officers have issued nearly $200,000 in fines to businesses and individuals for violating COVID-19 measures in Ottawa during the pandemic.

Statistics provided to CTV News Ottawa shows $880 fines have been issued to 190 people and businesses for violating Provincial Orders since the start of April.  Another 67 charges were issued for violations under Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw since it came into effect on July 15.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. Officers continue to use their discretion and provide verbal warnings where possible,” said Bylaw and Regulatory Services (BLRS) Director Roger Chapman.

“BLRS remains committed to helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the health and safety of our community by upholding the Temporary Mandatory Masking Bylaw and Provincial Orders.”

The fine for violating of Provincial Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic is $880.  Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services provided a breakdown of the 190 charges issued for violations of the Provincial Orders.

The unauthorized use of parks is the top violation in Ottawa, with 108 tickets issued between Apr. 4 and July 5.  As part of Stage 1 of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions, playground equipment, dog parks and exercise equipment were closed in the spring in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Ottawa Bylaw issued 29 charges to food establishments for failing to comply with an order made during an emergency. Seventeen of the 29 tickets were handed out during the modified Stage 2 in Ottawa between Oct. 10 and Nov. 6.

Eighteen tickets were issued to businesses open while deemed non-essential during the pandemic, and three businesses were fined for failing to comply with an emergency order while Ottawa was in the modified Stage 2.

ILLEGAL GATHERINGS

Twenty-four tickets have been issued to businesses and individuals for hosting illegal gatherings that contravene the Ontario Government’s limits on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saunders Farm received four, $880 fines for gatherings of more than 25 people outdoors while Ottawa was in the modified Stage 2 from Oct. 10 to Nov. 6.

Ottawa Bylaw issued an $880 fine on Oct. 30 for a gathering of more than 10 people at a private residence.  

Between April 5 and Jun 7, 15 charges were issued for gatherings of five or more people at a private residence.

FACE MASK VIOLATIONS

Ottawa bylaw officers have issued 67 tickets to individuals and businesses for violations under the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw. The fine is $240 for individuals caught not wearing a mask, while a business faces a fine of $480.

Forty-six of the 67 charges were issued to people not wearing a face mask or failing to wear the mask properly. Details on four charges was not provided by Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services. 

Council voted to implement the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw on July 15. The bylaw was expanded to cover common areas in apartment and condominium buildings on Aug. 26.

Bylaw officers have also issued eight charges under the Provincial Orders for mask violations. The fine is $880. Those fines were issued between Oct. 7 and Oct. 25.

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