The Province has announced it will be cracking down on big box stores not abiding by the current COVID-19-related restrictions.
Similar to last Saturday’s (January 16) and Sunday’s (January 17) blitz, provincial offences officers will be visiting an expanded range of workplaces across Ontario to educate and ticket businesses that are not complying with health and safety requirements.
As of January 20, more than 300 provincial offence officers will be visiting stores permitted to remain open during the current stay-at-home order including retail establishments, including big-box stores; restaurants providing take-out meals; essential service-sector establishments, such as gas stations; and farming operations.
During the most recent blitz, approximately 50 ministry inspectors, as well as local bylaw and police officers, visited 240 big-box stores across the GTH—enforcement officers found 76 contraventions, while the majority, 69 per cent, were in compliance of the current restrictions.
“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,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said in a news release.
“However, if we find any employers are putting the safety of workers and customers at risk, we will not hesitate to take immediate action,” he continued.
Additionally, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, corporations can be now be fined $1,000 for failing to comply with the orders, while individuals, including employees and patrons, can also be fined $750 for failing to comply.