“The vast majority of Ontario businesses are following the rules and protecting their workers and customers ― and we thank them for doing their part,” Premier Doug Ford said. “We’re deploying an army of inspectors to help support our businesses through education and feedback on their safety plans. For the bad actors who are intentionally breaking the rules, I’m providing a fair warning. We’ll find you and slap you with a big fine. It’s that simple.”
During each visit, officers provide business owners with guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic and comply with public health requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act. These campaigns are developed in consultation with local health units and support Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework and enforcement under the Reopening Ontario Act. The length of the safety campaigns can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on local circumstances.
If a person or business is not found compliant with orders under the Reopening Ontario Act, they could be ticketed with a fine of $750 under the Reopening Ontario Act. Where prosecuted without issuing a ticket and on conviction, individuals could be fined up to $100,000, and directors and officers of a corporation could be fined up to $500,000. Any individual convicted of an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act could also receive a term of imprisonment of up to one year. The maximum fine for a corporation convicted of an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act is $10,000,000.
Certain businesses and establishments in the Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown levels are required to develop a COVID-19 safety plan and make it available in writing for review. Whether workplaces are currently operating or planning to start up, employers need a plan to put controls in place to make the workplace safer for everyone. Employers can use current public health and workplace health and safety information or guidance to help develop their plan.
Businesses requiring a workplace safety plan include: restaurants, bars, and food or drink establishments; sports and recreational facilities; meeting and event spaces; malls; personal care services; casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments; cinemas; and performing arts facilities.
“We know that most businesses are doing all they can to operate safely and protect their workers and customers, but some still need support,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “These community safety campaigns will ensure all workplaces in Ontario have the resources and information they need to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Ontario’s workplace safety plan has already been downloaded more than 42,000 times by businesses across the province.