City of Calgary update on collaborative COVID-19 enforcement measures
City of Calgary Community Peace Officers and the Calgary Police Service (CPS) continue to work together, along with Alberta Health Services (AHS), to ensure enforcement of all bylaws and public health orders.
The Temporary COVID-19 Face Coverings Bylaw came into effect August 1, 2020. On Monday, December 11, 2020 Calgary City Council extended the temporary bylaw through December 2021 and increased penalties for failure to wear a face covering and for repeat violations within a 12-month period.
Enforcement of the temporary bylaw has resulted in:
- 378 violation tickets for failure to wear a face covering where required since August 1, 2020
- Of those, 11 violation tickets have been issued since April 15, 2021.
- One ticket has been issued for failure to display prescribed signage in an entryway of a public indoor space. This is the only ticket issued of this nature since August 18, 2020.
The total number of tickets issued under the Public Health Act (PHA) since the State of Local Emergency was declared is:
- 212 violation tickets since November 24, 2020
- Of those, 6 violation tickets were issued since April 15, 2021.
We understand the impact and tough circumstances faced by a number of businesses that are closed or have altered their services. The City of Calgary would like to thank citizens and businesses for their continued adherence to public health orders and for playing an important role in the health and safety of all Calgarians.
City business licence inspectors and partners from AHS, CPS, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and Occupational Health and Safety monitor compliance, address concerns and support measures that help protect Calgarians as the Public Health Compliance (PHC) Team. This team conducts regular inspections. When responding to a complaint, a joint inspection is completed. AHS have the right to enter a property or to inspect under the public health orders. While AHS is the primary investigator, the role of community peace officers and CPS is to provide uniformed support to AHS and assist in enforcing their orders during inspections.
If they are jointly permitted to gain access and acquire information on the basis of a complaint, officers will assist in providing education and counsel to the business owner or organizer(s) on the current public health orders in order to seek compliance. Officers will enforce through the violation ticket process when compliance is not observed.
Any non-essential business found operating in contravention of the PHA could face multiple fines and the possibility of suspension or revocation of their business licence coupled with the charges.
We continue to prioritize enforcement at events that create the greatest risk to the public, including large protests or gatherings. The City of Calgary does not issue permits for protests and continues to discourage gatherings at the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta.
Under the current direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the enforcement of public health orders continues as it has throughout the course of the pandemic. Once evidence is gathered and a violation ticket is issued, we rely on the prosecution of offenses to be handled by Alberta Justice, who determines the outcomes in regard to paying a fine or attending court. Tickets issued under the Public Health Act and the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Public Health Orders are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecutor, who determines court attendance and fine payment.
Where violations are suspected, Calgarians or businesses can submit questions, concerns or report complaints to Alberta Health Services online or by calling 1-833-415-9179, or to The City by contacting 311 or the CPS non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.
More information is available on Calgary.ca/covid19.