The Province will begin issuing fines for those who are caught violating the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), which was put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Those being charged with an offence under the EMCPA will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers.
This temporary power was approved by the Province today through an emergency order to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“It is essential that measures are in place to allow provincial offences officers to lawfully require an individual to disclose their correct name, date of birth and address in order to protect our communities,” Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, said in a news release.
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“By providing provincial offences officers with this temporary power to obtain identifying information under the EMCPA, they will be able to enforce emergency orders during these extraordinary times,” she continued.
Additional emergency orders the Province has improved include the closure of non-essential businesses, prohibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people and stopping price gouging on necessary goods such as disinfectant products.
Failing to comply with any of these emergency orders is an offence under the EMCPA and so is the failure to identify oneself accurately.
Failing to identify oneself carries a fine of $750 for failure to comply with an order made under the EMCPA or $1,000 for obstructing any person in exercising a power if a provincial offences officer issues a ticket.
Additionally, failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation itself if a provincial offences officer charges the individual by issuing a summons.
“It is the responsibility of all Ontarians to do their part and respect the emergency orders in place. We are supporting provincial offences officer in their critical work to enforce that responsibility and ensure the safety and well-being of Ontarians,” Jones added.
Cover photo courtesy of the OPP’s Instagram