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Joseph A. Neuberger
Neuberger & Partners LLP
Criminal Defence Lawyers
The government of Ontario is determined to be very strong in their response to ensuring people social distance and obey orders to remain out of public areas. The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (the “Act”) invoked during the pandemic has sever penalties including fines up to $100,000.000 and jail up to one year for disobeying the COVID-19 emergency orders.
Provincial government orders to stay out of recreational facilities, such as playgrounds, basketball courts, and dog parks risks these severe penalties.
These measures also apply to corporations that remain open when are deemed non-essential and are to be closed. A director or officer of a corporation and can fined up to $500,000.00 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year in jail, and for the corporate entity itself a fine of not more than $10 million.
In addition, anyone charged with disobeying these directives must identify themselves if asked by a police officer, special constable, First Nations constable or a municipal bylaw enforcement office. Failure to identify could result in further fines.
Take Away Message:
It is vital for the health and safety of all people living in Canada, that health directives and/or orders be strictly followed. Although difficult to alter one’s life to this new norm, it is imperative that we all do our part to curb the spread of this disease and ensure the long- term health of our communities.