Ontario grocery store fined for not enforcing physical distancing guidelines
Produce is shown in a grocery store in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
TORONTO -- A large Brampton, Ont. grocery store has been fined for failing to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
Brampton Coun. Charmaine Williams shared the news with reporters during a weekly briefing on Wednesday, noting that it is the first time that an essential business has been ticketed for violating the terms of the provincial emergency order.
The location of the offending store has not been revealed.
“This comes after officers had educated and cautioned the store management about the breaches. Look if you don’t want to pay the fine don’t do the crime,” Williams said.
Most grocery stores have taken extensive steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 through limiting the capacity in their stores, erecting plastic barriers to protect clerks and, in many cases, limiting the direction of travel in aisles.
On Wednesday, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said that bylaw officers have been “in regular contact with grocery stores letting them know their obligations” amid the COVID-19 pandemic but in this case felt that a fine was necessary to drive the point home.
“So as much as we work collaboratively with the grocery stores if they are not following the physical distancing guidelines required by public health than there are financial consequences for that,” he said.
Fines for violating a provincial order under the Emergency Measures Act can range from $750 to $100,000. It is not clear how much the Brampton grocery store was fined.