Burlington has received a large number of complaints about people breaking COVID rules, but few tickets have been issued.
The rule breakers could include people who have been gathering in large groups or refusing to wear masks in public places.
“We’ve seen a huge increase over calls for enforcement in the last few weeks by people who are obviously concerned,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in an interview with inhalton.com. “We’ve had almost 1,000 calls for service since the pandemic started.”
However, only four tickets have been issued for violations.
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The mayor said the goal of the City it too educate and let the public know what the expectations are, especially when it is a new initiative.
“We expect people to comply and in almost every case – except those four – they did comply,” said the mayor. “And that is what we are after, compliance. We are not interested in fining people for money. If we can get people to comply then we have done our job.”
But the mayor warned the education period is over.
“Everyone knows the rules now,” she said. “They may not love all of them and now we won’t hesitate to issue tickets if we have to.”
Meed Ward says Burlington has not experienced the huge gatherings that other municipalities have been faced with, such as the car rally in Hamilton or the large parties in Brampton. She said people in Burlington have generally been compliant in following the rules set out by local health officials.
“They are doing it, they are keeping themselves and others safe,” she said. “And I know it is hard, it is a sacrifice, but people are doing it.”
Still, she said that if residents do observe others breaking the distancing bylaw to call the City’s COVID hotline at 905-825-4722.