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Non-compliance of Emergency Management Act may lead to fines: OPP

Provincial Offences Act of Ontario has been updated to include three offences which may be enforced by police
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On March 17, 2020 the Government of Ontario declared a State of Emergency which has prompted some members of the public to contact the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit (SMDHU) and area municipal offices to request individuals and businesses/institutions be investigated for non-compliance under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

On March 25, 2020 the Government of Canada invoked the Quarantine Act. This requires all travellers returning to Canada - with the exception of what the federal government is calling "essential workers" - enter a mandatory 14-day period of isolation, regardless of whether any symptoms of COVID-19 are present. On March 28, 2020, the Government of Ontario further decreased the number of people who can gather in one place from 50 to five.

While we strive to educate and promote calmness in the community, it is important for the public to understand there are consequences for individuals and businesses who choose to defy the EMCPA while emergency orders are in force. The Provincial Offences Act of Ontario has been recently updated to include three offences which may be enforced by police for each offence, contrary to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) at the following set fines:
    •    Fail to comply with an order made during an emergency = Fine of $750
    •    Obstruction of person exercising a power in accordance with an emergency order = Fine of $1,000
    •    Obstruction of person performing a duty in accordance with an emergency order = Fine of $1,000

How to report
Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies only. For all other police matters, contact the Southern Georgian Bay OPP through the non-emergency line at 1-888-310-1122 or use the Online Reporting feature on the OPP website. Allegations of non-compliance with the EMCPA can be made by calling the OPP non-emergency line only. The OPP will endeavour to respond to these types of calls in a timely manner. However, our primary focus will continue to be emergency calls for service in the community.

You may also call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 to confirm whether a specific situation is non-compliant. Assistance is available Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information please visit here

Allegations of price gouging can be called into 1-800-889-9768 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday or filed online.

People with health-related questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to call the Simcoe Muskoka Public Health at 1-877-721-7520, send an email question via online form or visit the website at Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. After business hours, people seeking medical advice can call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

The current situation involving COVID-19 requires us to work together to protect everyone's safety. Our police leaders, frontline personnel, public health staff and civilian members are working around the clock to support local efforts to keep our communities safe.

Protect yourself and others by:
    •    Staying home - avoid all non-essential trips into your community
    •    Practise physical distancing - keep two metres (six feet) between you and another person. Do your best to avoid close contact with people outside of your immediate family
    •    Practise proper hygiene - wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

We encourage you to visit the OPP, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and Health Canada websites as up to date information is being posted as it becomes available.

"The serving members of the OPP Southern Georgian Bay Detachment and our emergency partners thank the residents of Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka for complying with recent government directives to ensure the safety and wellness of your family and your community during this public health crisis." - Inspector Joseph Evans, interim commander, Southern Georgian Bay OPP Detachment.