‘If we find that businesses are putting the safety of workers and customers at risk, our government will not hesitate to take immediate action’
Ontario carried out workplace inspections in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham over the weekend to ensure workers and customers are properly protected from COVID-19.
The blitz, developed in consultation with local health units, will build on the recent provincewide inspection campaigns in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
“Our government is confident that the majority of workplaces in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham are taking the necessary steps to protect their patrons and staff, while helping to reduce the spread of the pandemic,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “However, if we find that businesses are putting the safety of workers and customers at risk, our government will not hesitate to take immediate action. The only way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and end the provincewide shutdown is for everyone — owners, customers and staff alike — to follow the proper guidelines.”
More than 300 provincial offences officers, as well as local public health inspectors and municipal bylaw officers, will continue to visit retail establishments, restaurants providing take-out meals and essential service-sector establishments such as gas stations, among other workplaces.
Earlier this month, as part of its Fall Preparedness Plan, the province has hired over 700 contact tracers and case managers, adding to the 600 Statistics Canada employees that are assisting with contact follow-up.
The government will now be fining corporations $1,000 for failing to comply with the orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Also, Ontario will fine employees and patrons $750 for failing to comply with orders under the acts.
If a violation is more serious, the government can charge a person with failing to comply with an order under the acts. If convicted, the court can impose fines as high as $100,000 for individuals, and directors and officers of a corporation can be fined up to $500,000. Both could also receive terms of imprisonment of up to one year. The maximum fine for a corporation on conviction of an offence is up to $10,000,000.