WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government won’t be enacting a nightly COVID-19 curfew after flouting the idea earlier this week.
Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday it’s not the time to proceed with such restrictive measures and efforts can be better focused on enforcement of existing public health measures.
“We’ve seen curfews elsewhere in other parts of the world, we’ve seen them combined with massive lockdowns of the economy,” Pallister said at a news conference.
“World Health Organization, many other medical experts have said there are real dangers in that approach.”
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The province will spend $2.5 million to increase enforcement surrounding coronavirus public health measures.
The province is also granting health enforcement powers to more than 275 additional personnel, including motor carrier enforcement officers, fire safety inspectors and water resources officers.
The province will also empower bylaw officers, including municipally contracted officers, to help enforce the public health orders.
“We know the vast majority of Manitobans are doing their best to protect their loved ones, neighbours and community by following public health guidelines. However, there are some individuals who just aren’t listening,” Pallister said.
“Our government is taking additional steps to increase enforcement to help keep Manitobans safe in these challenging times.”
More than 3,200 personnel across various enforcement agencies will be able to enforce the measures, including those previously empowered such as the RCMP, municipal police agencies, the Health Protection Unit, Manitoba Conservation and Climate, Workplace Safety and Health, and the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.
The province will use the $2.5 million allocated to reimburse municipalities for the equivalent value of any tickets written by municipal bylaw enforcement staff.
Enhanced public reporting
Manitobans can also now report compliance and enforcement issues at Manitoba.ca/COVID19 and complete an online reporting form. Reports can also be made by calling (204) 945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862 and pressing option three on the call menu. For those in Winnipeg, you can make a report by calling 311.
The current fines levied for breaking public health orders are $1,296 for individuals and $5,000 for corporations.
Since April 9, more than 12,000 calls have come in from citizens to report concerns. As of this week, approximately 160 tickets have been issued