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:

  • 345 violation tickets for failure to wear a face covering where required since August 1, 2020
    • Of those, 12 violation tickets have been issued since April 1, 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:

  • 206 violation tickets since November 24, 2020
    • Two of those violation tickets were issued since April 1, 2021.

We understand the impact and tough circumstances faced by a number of businesses that are closed or have altered their services once again. 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.

Under the current direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, enforcement of public health orders will continue as it has throughout the course of the pandemic.

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. The City of Calgary is not approving any event permits at this time.

The City of Calgary asks that citizens do not take the perceived appearance of lack of enforcement at protests or gatherings as a reflection of our intent to ticket those who flout the law. There are a number current investigations underway for repeat offenders and summons pending.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.

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