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Ontario to conduct weekend big box store inspection blitz to enforce pandemic rules

Last Updated Jan 14, 2021 at 3:48 pm EST

People shop at Costco in Toronto on Jan. 13, 2021 as the province prepares to enter a stay at home order amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin
Summary

Fifty inspectors will visit stores in Toronto, Hamilton, Peel Region, York Region and Durham Region.


The inspectors will have the power to issue tickets of up to $750 to store supervisors, workers, or patrons.


The tickets will be issued if people are not not following public health rules.


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.

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

“I want big box stores to pull up their socks and start following the rules,” said McNaughton.

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.