Photo:A bylaw officer advises a person that Cobourg beach is closed on Monday, April 6, 2020 as a jogger runs along the beach in the background.
Cobourg Police will be enforcing penalties in collaboration with municipal by-law officers.
Ontario issued new Emergency Orders pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) last week.
The Cobourg Police Service wants to advise citizens of Cobourg of what the EMCPA is and what the effects are on your daily life.
The EMCPA allows the government certain powers in this type of an emergency.
An emergency means a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.
Because COVID-19 is easily spread what has been done?
• Outdoor recreational amenities (parks) are closed
• Sports fields and playgrounds are closed
• Gathering of over five people are banned
• 14-day mandatory quarantine after returning from outside the country (this is federal)
• Designated non-essential businesses
In Cobourg who is enforcing the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act?
The Government of Ontario’s Order require individuals who are being charged with an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to identify themselves to a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, Special Constables, and municipal by-law enforcement officers.
Cobourg Police are out in the community and responding to calls about violations and will be enforcing penalties for anyone failing to comply with emergency orders in collaboration with municipal by-law officers. Police can also use arrest provisions for certain circumstances and sections of the Criminal Code can come into effect during the course of an investigation.
Failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of;
• $750 for failure to comply with an order made under the EMCPA
• $1,000 for obstructing any person exercising a power in accordance with an order made during a declared emergency
• $1,000 for obstructing any person performing a duty in accordance with an order made during a declared emergency
• up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual
• $500,000 for a director of a corporation
• $10,000,000 for a corporation itself if a provincial offences officer charges the individual by issuing a summons
“As the outbreak of COVID-19 has evolved over the last month, and continues to evolve on daily basis, we have been working around the clock to adapt quickly to continue protect health and safety of our citizens,” says Chief Paul VandeGraaf, Cobourg Police Service.
“Our officers will be enforcing these penalties without hesitation. We continue to be committed to working with other first responder partners, medical and social services personnel, government and health authorities to keep all members of our communities safe. We encourage citizens to take the necessary measures to help flatten the curve.”
More information may be accessed on the Province of Ontario Website at www.ontario.ca.
Cobourg citizens are encouraged to contact the Town of Cobourg Public Information Hotline for any concerns from Cobourg residents about the Coronavirus pandemic.
The hotline operates seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and be managed by trained municipal staff who will respond to calls as they come in.
The hotline number is 1-289-677-0585.