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Bylaw Officers Given Power to Enforce Public Health Orders

October 23, 2020 11:22 AM | News

Coronavirus Walk

People wear face masks as they walk in a city park in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

WINNIPEG — Municipal bylaw enforcement officers in Manitoba now have the power to issue tickets to anyone disregarding public health orders.

The province announced Friday regulatory amendments have been made that allow bylaw officers to enforce increased measures under the Pandemic Response System to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Despite extensive public health education campaigns, compliance with public health orders continues to be an issue,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen.

“Empowering additional enforcement personnel will help address the ongoing concerns about non-compliance as we reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The province recently increased fines for individuals to $1,296 and $5,000 for corporations who flout public health orders.

Aside from bylaw enforcement officers, RCMP and other police agencies, the Health Protection Unit, Manitoba Conservation and Climate, Workplace Safety and Health, and the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority can issue fines related to the following orders:

• Limiting the size of gatherings
• Imposing health protection measures on business (e.g. social distancing, capacity limits, patrons to remain seated at bars, etc.)
• Requiring people with a positive COVID-19 test, or those advised they are a close contact, to self-isolate
• Requiring people travelling into Manitoba to self-isolate according to public health
• Prohibiting travel to northern Manitoba

Premier Brian Pallister said earlier this week the additional powers would enable approximately 130 more bylaw officers the ability to issue fines provincewide.