Ontarians who are charged with violating one of the province’s emergency orders will be required to identify themselves to a provincial offenses officer. Officers in that category include First Nations’ constables, police officers, special constables and by-law officers.
“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,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said.
Failing to correctly identify oneself carries a fine of $750. 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. In addition, 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.
Emergency orders currently in place to address the COVID-19 outbreak 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.
These penalties apply in addition to the penalties for breaching other emergency orders. “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,” added Solicitor General Jones.