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 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.
On May 13, 2021 Provincial exceptions on wearing a mask changed. Calgarians who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition will require a medical exception letter from an authorized health professional. The letter may be presented in a public setting if requested by enforcement officials. While the bylaw remains in effect, the provincial health order rules on masks will be enforced over the bylaw when in place.
Enforcement of the temporary bylaw has resulted in:
- 466 violation tickets for failure to wear a face covering where required since August 1, 2020
- Of those, 55 violation tickets have been issued since May 13, 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.
While compliance with the temporary bylaw remains high in public spaces and Calgary Transit vehicles, increased enforcement presence and repeat offences have resulted in the increase in tickets.
The total number of tickets issued under the Public Health Act (PHA) since the State of Local Emergency was declared is:
- 213 violation tickets since November 24, 2020.
- Of those, none of the violation tickets were issued since May 13, 2021.
Protests and demonstrations
Although no additional PHA tickets were issued by The City of Calgary over the second weekend of the updated public health order measures being in effect, corrective actions were taken. CPS made two additional arrests in relation to breaches of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS. The order states that all COVID-19 public health measures must be followed for gatherings including protests, demonstrations, rallies and illegal indoor events. It also contains an enforcement clause that once served, gives police the powers to arrest organizers and promotors of events that do not meet the health orders.
As with other protest enforcement efforts, The City of Calgary’s priority is to ensure the safety of the public, attendees and our officers. Any planned rallies or demonstrations will continue to be enforced, in vehicles or otherwise.
City business licence inspectors, peace officers and partners from AHS, CPS, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis and Occupational Health and Safety have formed a Public Health Compliance (PHC) Team to monitor compliance, address concerns and support measures that help protect Calgarians. This team will continue to conduct proactive inspections and respond to concerns jointly, to ensure businesses are following public health orders.
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.
The City of Calgary understands the impact and tough circumstances faced by a number of businesses that are closed or have altered their services, balanced with the critical need to enforce continued adherence to the public health orders. We 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.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.