Police can now use bylaw enforcement officers to crack down on those who do not comply with emergency orders being made by the province.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 2, 2020



Halton Regional Police Service officers are now collaborating with local bylaw enforcement officers to respond to calls for service related to non-compliance with emergency orders within our collective boundaries.

Halton police - good angle

Regional police now working with municipal bylaw enforcement officers.

For the duration of the pandemic, if a member of the public wishes to report an incident of non-compliance with the emergency orders, they may contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722   Do NOT use 911 for these calls

The Province of Ontario declared a provincial emergency on March 17th, through the authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

Since this declaration, several emergency orders have been made under the Act to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that essential services continue to be provided and Ontarians are supported.

A ministerial designation under the Provincial Offences Act temporarily allows for by-law enforcement officers to assist police officers with enforcing the emergency orders being made by the province.
It is critical that our residents use 911 for emergencies only.

A call taker will collect relevant information from the complainant, and when appropriate, a by-law enforcement officer or police officer will be dispatched to follow up.

Upon responding to an alleged incident of non-compliance, the severity of each infraction in relation to the potential risk to public health and the spread of COVID-19 will be taken into account to guide a response. If compliance is not obtained through dialogue and education, officers have the authority to issue a ticket or summons.

The enforceable orders that fall within the authority of the Halton Regional Police Service, the municipal by-law officers and Conservation Halton officers include:

• Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
• Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
• Closure of public places and establishments
• Closure of all outdoor recreational amenities and parks

People who are being charged with an offence under the EMCPA will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers.

The Halton Regional Police Service only has the authority to enforce the Federal Quarantine Orders under the Quarantine Act when directed by a quarantine officer or health officer. Residents may still contact the COVID-19 Hotline to request follow-up for quarantine concerns.

Further, at this time, there is no legislative authority for Halton Regional Police Service officers to enforce non-compliance with physical distancing recommendations. Residents may still contact the COVID-19 Hotline to request follow-up for physical distancing concerns.


Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner.

“These are unprecedented times. It is incumbent on every member of our community to do their part now to slow the spread of COVID-19. The emergency orders that have been put in place by the provincial government are there for our collective protection. Our expectation is that residents will step up, comply with these measures, and contribute meaningfully to flatten the curve,” said Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner.

“We are fighting an invisible threat to our health and our way of life—we all need to work together and take action now,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “I can’t stress enough how important it is that everyone take direction from Public Health seriously. Thank you to all those who are taking action to help flatten the curve and for those who haven’t, you need to start now. We are all in this together.”

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, in a prepared comment said: “We thank the province for giving our regional police and local municipal by-law enforcement officers the tools to ensure the orders for closures and gatherings are followed. The more we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together.”

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5 comments to Police can now use bylaw enforcement officers to crack down on those who do not comply with emergency orders being made by the province.

  • David

    Why oh why are people so against doing what they’re are told?….Always worried about their civil liberties during a world pandemic. But gladly giving away those liberties on a daily basis when things are supposedly wonderful.

    You manufacture no critical products. Your access to medication is in the hands of others along with your food supply. Your life is in the hands of non Canadians, your ability to defend yourself has been outsourced. You are relying on supply chains that are currently being diverted to the highest bidder.
    Doing something about that would be more helpful don’t you think.

    • Joe Gaetan

      Yes agree and while Scofflaws, and there already many, go about freely contaminating others. The subjects of their liberty expression will have no civil liberties at all, as they will be dead. NO measures in Ontario means 100,000 deaths within 18-24 months. Asking people to self distance and self-isolate will hopefully reduce that number to between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths over the same 18-24 month period.Time, Place and Country folks. You are not living under an oppressive regime.

  • Maggie Steiss

    This is a recipe for abuse and disaster. It’s bad enough our civil liberties are being trampled on in an overzealous way with no current legal recourse by citizens wanting to mount a challenge. How many bogus calls to police will there be by people wanting to “get even” with someone they don’t like. How many calls will be made by people who want to impose their own standards on people, This has been seen many times with calls to the Children’s Aid Society, the Humane Society and city by law enforcement. Then you have the whole money grabbing by the government issue as well as abuse by officers.
    I am not suggesting that some precautions are not necessary but the government has gone too far and the future results have the potential to be far more devastating than the virus. Some of the decisions are also illogical. Closing some parks and trails will lead to overcrowding in the parks and trails that are left open. If they are all closed we will have more people on the streets, just trying to get some fresh air. Apartment dwellers in particular need to be able to get outside in public areas, especially those who do not have balconies. Limiting store hours will see people crowding into stores or waiting in long lines instead of spreading the flow out over longer hours.

    • Phillip Wooster

      I have to agree with the potential for abuse and it could get worse once the legal process starts. Since it is a provincial offence, I believe the investigating (by-law) officer will need to catch the offenders in the act; I would doubt that a charge could be laid as a result of a phoned in complaint. What happens if the complainant’s name is revealed at trial or if that person is required to testify? Life will suddenly become hell for that “neighbour”.

      If there is a problem, I believe the officer should investigate and issue a warning. If following the warning the behaviour is repeated as evidenced by the investigating officer, then a charge should be laid. Will this happen? I’ve met reasonable public officials including peace officers in my life, but I’ve met a significant number of power trippers for whom the word “discretion” is unknown.

      • Eve St Clair

        After By law dept .receives a complaint ,they will go out and investigate and yes they would need to see Johnny and his 12 friends playing football in the park to lay charges . Complainants names would be kept confidential even in court process as the Court would rely on Officer’s notes not Gladys Kravitz ,the nosey neighbour . Hopefully citizens of Burlington will take this seriously and not call in frivolous and vexatious complaints against their neighbours . Pretty sure by law is aware of these callers . I also believe due to the serious of this ,zero tolerance with tickets only and no warnings unless the offenders are under age requirement of Provincial Offences act .