Bylaw issues nearly 450 warnings for violating COVID-19 rules over long weekend
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Bylaw officers issued zero tickets to residents for possible violations of COVID-19 rules during the Victoria Day long weekend.
However, officers stopped an organized soccer game at Walter Baker Park and issued dozens of warnings at Lansdowne and Carlington Park to individuals allegedly violating COVID-19 rules.
Bylaw Services tells CTV News Ottawa officers issued nearly 450 warnings to individuals for alleged violations under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The City of Ottawa relaxed some of the restrictions in parks and green spaces on May 6, allowing residents to get some fresh air and exercise while practicing physical distancing. The city said residents could take part in activities in groups of up to five people.
Sports fields, ball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts and play structures remain closed. No organized sporting events and activities are allowed.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Director of Bylaw and Regulatory Services Roger Chapman says Bylaw officers responded to 305 requests for service between May 16 and 18, and conducted 870 proactive inspections of parks across the city.
“While no Provincial Offence Notices were issued, officers issued nearly 450 verbal warnings to individuals who were contravening orders set out in the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act,” Chapman writes.
"Of note, officers stopped an organized soccer game being played on a soccer field at Walter Baker Park on Saturday, issued 20 verbal warnings at Lansdowne on Saturday and 40 verbal warnings at Carlington Park on Monday for various contraventions."
The play structures, basketball courts and skateboard park at Lansdowne remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 100 tickets issued since April 3
Since April 3, Ottawa Bylaw officers have issued 124 tickets for violating the COVID-19 measures.
Chapman says Bylaw and Regulatory Services has responded to 5,485 calls pertaining to suspected violations of COVID-19 measures.
“The nature of these calls include violations of park closures, gatherings of more than five people and non-exempted businesses that continue to provide services."