Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario expands workplace COVID enforcement campaign

Three more COVID-19 deaths reported in Ottawa; 63 new positive cases today
Three more COVID-19 deaths reported in Ottawa; 63 new positive cases today

Following last weekend’s big box store inspections in the Toronto and Hamilton areas Queen’s Park says it will visit an expanded range of workplaces across Ontario.

It’s an effort to ensure retailers and businesses are in step with COVID-19 health and safety requirements to protect workers and customers.

Inspectors last weekend found 76 contraventions of provincial shutdown regulations.

“We know, from inspecting over 23,000 workplaces during 34,000 field visits, that the vast majority of Ontario businesses are following COVID-19 requirements to protect the health and safety of their workers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “However, if we find any employers are putting the safety of workers and customers at risk, we will not hesitate to take immediate action.”

More than 300 officers will visit a variety of workplaces in the coming days and weeks, among them:

Retail establishments, including big-box stores
Restaurants providing take-out meals
Essential service-sector establishments (such as gas stations); and
Farming operations

Corporations can be fined $1,000 for failing to comply with the orders under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. All individuals, including employees and patrons, can also be fined $750 for failing to comply with orders under the acts.

If a violation is more serious, a person can be charged 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.

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