City of Winnipeg bylaw officers have issued their first ticket for breaking public health orders during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The city said its bylaw officers issued a ticket to a skateboarder after he refused to leave a closed park on Monday when asked to do so.
The incident took place at Varsity View Sportsplex, a city spokesperson told Global News, where 35-40 people were hanging out and skateboarding.
When bylaw officers arrived on scene, most of the people scattered, although the accused stayed behind and was uncooperative. He told the officers he was aware of the public health guidelines around social distancing, but refused to provide ID.
At that point, Winnipeg police became involved to confirm the man’s identity, and he was issued a summons at his residence.
The City of Winnipeg provides an update on COVID-19 https://t.co/Wx9FHS8mhL
— City of Winnipeg (@cityofwinnipeg) May 1, 2020
The penalty for violating the health orders — under the Provincial Offences Act — is up to six months in jail or a fine totaling $1,000.
Jay Shaw, manager of the city’s Emergency Operations Centre, told 680 CJOB this situation wasn’t the desired outcome.
“The bylaw officers are trying to do their best job and use discretion,” said Shaw.
“They don’t want to hand out tickets, they don’t want to hand out fines. They want to be able to provide information to Winnipeggers.
“This is not a good occurrence for us. We do not want to be handing out tickets, we want people to stay safe.”
City recreational facilities including skateboard parks can reopen Monday but physical distancing rules will be enforced.View link »