On March 17, 2020, the Province of Ontario declared a provincial emergency through the authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). Since this declaration, several emergency orders have been made under the Act to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that essential services continue to be provided and Ontarians are supported.
“It’s important for our communities to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. The provincial government has put emergency orders in effect to keep people safe. My hope is that residents in Milton and neighbouring municipalities comply with these efforts to flatten the curve,” he said.
A ministerial designation under the Provincial Offences Act temporarily allows for by-law enforcement officers to assist police officers with enforcing the emergency orders being made by the province.
In this regard, Halton Regional Police Service officers, by-law enforcement officers with the Town of Oakville, City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills and Town of Milton, and Conservation Halton officers are now collaborating to respond to calls for service related to non-compliance with emergency orders within our collective
For the duration of the pandemic, if a member of the public wishes to report an incident of non-compliance with the emergency orders, they may contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline:
It is critical that our residents use 911 for emergencies only.
A call taker will collect relevant information from the complainant, and when appropriate, a by-law enforcement officer or police officer will be dispatched to follow up. Upon responding to an alleged incident of non-compliance, the severity of each infraction in relation to the potential risk to public health and the spread of COVID-19 will be taken into account to guide a response. If compliance is not obtained through dialogue and education, officers have the authority to issue a ticket or summons.
The enforceable orders that fall within the authority of the Halton Regional Police Service, the municipal by-law officers and Conservation Halton officers include:
- Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
- Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
- Closure of public places and establishments
- Closure of all outdoor recreational amenities and parks
People who are being charged with an offence under the EMCPA will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers.
Please note that at this time, the Halton Regional Police Service only has the authority to enforce the Federal Quarantine Orders under the Quarantine Act when directed by a quarantine officer or health officer. Residents may still contact the COVID-19 Hotline to request follow-up for quarantine concerns.
Further, at this time, there is no legislative authority for Halton Regional Police Service officers to enforce non-compliance with physical distancing recommendations. Residents may still contact the COVID-19 Hotline to request follow-up for physical distancing concerns.