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Reporting public health violations to 311 is encouraged: Calgary mayor 

Click to play video: 'Reporting public health violations to 311 is encouraged: Calgary mayor' Reporting public health violations to 311 is encouraged: Calgary mayor
The City of Calgary says it’s received hundreds of calls about social distancing concerns, including complaints about neighbours not practising social distancing or breaking mass gathering rules. As Christa Dao reports, the city`s mayor is encouraging people to voice their complaints – Apr 29, 2020

The City of Calgary said it’s received hundreds of calls about social distancing concerns, including complaints about neighbours not practising social distancing or breaking mass gathering rules.

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said these calls are encouraged and people who have concerns should report them through channels like 311 or the Calgary police non-emergency number.

READ MORE: Calgary mayor clarifies regulations for social gatherings: ‘Use common sense’

Nenshi said he received many questions from Calgarians about whether they should be ratting out their neighbours.

“I’ve received lots of notes, from friends and Facebook people and so on, that are saying, ‘Hey, my neighbour’s having a party, Is it wrong for me to rat them out, to be that blunt?” he said Tuesday.

“That’s what 311 and that’s what the police non-emergency line are for. You can explain what’s going on. The people on the other end can tell you, ‘You know what? That’s actually something that’s allowed or that is actually a problem,’ and we can deal with it,” Nenshi said.

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“That’s what we do and I want to encourage people to use those reporting mechanisms, either 311 or the police non-emergency line if they have questions or if they’re concerned about these things.”

READ MORE: Calgary to see more enforcement officers in parks, extra waste pickup amid COVID-19 pandemic

Since Friday, there have been 338 calls to 311 about physical distancing concerns, according to the city of Calgary.

Of that number, 164 required bylaw services.

  • 58 calls about physical distancing concerns in public spaces
  • 34 calls regarding concerns in private yards or areas
  • 38 calls regarding concerns around playground use
  • 34 calls regarding public gatherings less than 14 people not practicing the requirements

Calgary police also dealt with 31 concerns about mass gatherings over 15 people and one violation ticket was issued under the Public Health Act.

The Calgary Police service said it doesn’t encourage people to “tattle” on their neighbours, but said it is aligned with the city’s messaging in violations be reported to 311.

“CPS is aligned with the city in directing people to call 311 to report concerns of others not abiding by the Public Health Act regarding COVID-19 social distancing, mass gathering or self-isolation rules,” the police force said.

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“However, CPS is not encouraging people to “tattle” on neighbours, but if anyone feels the need to report PHA violations, 311 is the proper channel to go through, and then the call will be dispatched either to city bylaw or CPS depending on the circumstances.”

Global News spoke to some Calgarians about snitching on their neighbours and the reaction was mixed.

“I think if you catch people [having] large gatherings when they shouldn’t be doing it, then it should be something you’re reporting. It’s for everybody’s safety,” Alexander Buchanan said.

READ MORE: Are physically distant driveway visits, walks allowed? Alberta Health officials weigh in

On the other side of the coin, Calgarian Nicola Wilson said she doesn’t think people should be policing their neighbours.

“I think that people are adults and are up to their own accord… I’m hoping that I would never have to do that, to snitch out a neighbour… I don’t think people should be policing,” she said.

“I think we pay people to do that job for us. I wouldn’t right now. I think everyone is doing the best they can in this situation.”

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