Ontario to conduct weekend big-box store inspection blitz to enforce coronavirus rules

WATCH ABOVE: Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones on Tuesday said that under new measures of the state of emergency order, authority will be given to enforcement personnel to issue fines to individuals, employees and corporations in retail settings and businesses if found not complying with an order.

TORONTO — Ontario labour inspectors will conduct a weekend inspection blitz of big-box stores to enforce public health rules.

The province’s labour minister says 50 inspectors will visit stores in Toronto, Hamilton, Peel Region, York Region and Durham Region.

Monte McNaughton says the inspectors will have the power to issue tickets of up to $750 to store supervisors, workers, or patrons if they’re not following public health rules.

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He says they will focus on ensuring employees and customers are wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and following safety guidelines.

McNaughton says the inspectors will also have the authority to temporarily close a premise and disperse groups of more than five people.

The blitz comes as a stay-at-home order for all but essential purposes comes into effect today.

Ontario reported 3,326 new cases of COVID-19 today and 62 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 968 new cases in Toronto, 572 in Peel Region and 357 in York Region.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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