COVID-19: City of Ottawa Enforcement Measures

Over past couple of days, the Ontario Government implemented additional measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (“EMCPA”) to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These measures include restricting gatherings of more than 5 people and closing parks and equipment.

On March 30, 2020, Mayor Jim Watson announced that Ottawa City By-law Officers would now have the ability to enforce new rules under the EMCPA, including enforcing complaints related to:

  • Gatherings of more than 5 people in public or private residences;
  • People congregating in parks / using public facilities or equipment;
  • Restaurants that continue to offer dine-in service; and
  • Non-essential retail businesses continuing to operate

Ottawa residents who witness these issues should report them by calling 3-1-1.

Additionally, By-law will be collaborating with the Ottawa Police Service for the enforcement of quarantine orders issued to individuals who have been traveling or are experiencing COVID19- related symptoms. For complaints related to self-isolation/quarantine problems, people are being directed to call the non-urgent police phone line (613-236-1222).

The primary enforcement approach of By-law Officers is going to be to try and educate residents and businesses on the laws and their importance to public health. However, the order does state that in time, enforcement measures could escalate to include significant fines.

What impact does City of Ottawa’s new enforcement order have on condominium residents and boards?

The Order clearly states that enforcement measures can be taken in private residences. If a condominium resident violates their obligations with respect to gatherings of over 5 people, Ottawa City By-law can be called to assist in educating them. As outlined in a previous blog, condominium corporations are in an ideal position to assess how best to address many of these public health concerns. So as a first step for a condominium, it might make sense to write to a non-compliant resident with a view to educating them. If that is not successful, By-law Officers will be available to help by calling 3-1-1.

If a resident violates their obligation to self-isolate/quarantine and has disregarded requests from the condominium corporation to remain in their unit, the Corporation can seek the assistance of the Ottawa Police Service by calling the non-urgent line.