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.
On Monday May 10, 2021 Council will consider increasing the violation penalties through voting on a proposed bylaw amendment in the Combined Meeting of Council.
Enforcement of the temporary bylaw has resulted in:
- 391 violation tickets for failure to wear a face covering where required since August 1, 2020
- Of those, 8 violation tickets have been issued since April 29, 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:
- 213 violation tickets since November 24, 2020
- Of those, none of the violation tickets were issued since April 29, 2021.
On May 04, 2021 the Province of Alberta announced new mandatory health restrictions under the Chief Medical Officer of Health, through the Public Health Act, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health system.
These measures include new restrictions on outdoor social gatherings, schools, retail, restaurants, places of worship, personal and wellness services, outdoor sports and fitness, funerals, and post-secondary institutions.
Under the current direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the enforcement of public health orders continues to be a priority for The City of Calgary’s enforcement and protective services.
“Aligned enforcement teams will focus on high profile incidents including protests, groups disrupting businesses in contravention of current laws, and places of worship found to be in non-compliance,” said Chief Bylaw Inspector Ryan Pleckaitis. “Community peace officers will partner with the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Public Safety Unit officers to increase enforcement at protests and other problematic events.”
“Though we have been taking enforcement action when it has been lawful and safe to do so, we have heard the voices of those who feel we can do more,” said CPS Chief Constable Mark Neufeld. “The enforcement framework announced earlier this week helps to formalize several critical partnerships that must be aligned if enforcement activities are to be successful. It will ensure stronger collaboration and more efficient use of the existing powers each agency has available to focus on repeat offenders – individuals, groups and businesses.”
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 be conducting proactive inspections and responding 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 closing or will 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.