Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced stricter measures for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic situation within the province, including some revisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that his government enacted last month.
Now Champlain Township has authorized its bylaw enforcement department to take a more active role in monitoring the municipality and reminding residents about the pandemic prevention guidelines. Mayor Normand Riopel indicated that the bylaw office is helping the police with enforcing the provincial regulations and he noted that so far Champlain Township citizens are doing their part to self-isolate, avoid needless, and take whatever other measures are necessary to reduce the chance of COVID-19 infection in their community.
“Residents seem very well-informed,” said Mayor Riopel during a phone interview on April 2. “The streets are pretty empty, so it seems that people are staying at home.”
Bylaw officers will monitor and respond to calls and reports of any non-essential businesses still operating despite the provincial closure order during the pandemic situation. They will also deal with reports of people gathering in municipal parks or using park playground equipment despite the provincial closure order, and also deal with any reports of groups of more than five people in close proximity.
The township directive calls on bylaw officers to explain the reason for the pandemic protection guidelines to residents when dealing with infraction situations and ask them to obey the rules. They will also remind residents of the penalties the provincial government has set for ignoring or breaking the pandemic protection regulations.
Anyone who sees a business or individual breaking the pandemic regulations can report the matter by phoning 613-675-4727, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours and on weekends reports go to the OPP non-emergency line at 613-446-5124.