Guidelines for Bylaw Enforcement Officers assisting with enforcement of COVID-19 Public Health Orders

As we have previously noted on this page, on March 26, 2020 the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued Ministerial Order No. M082, which requires local authorities, to the greatest extent possible without unduly compromising any other bylaw enforcement objectives of the local authority, to ensure that their Bylaw Enforcement Officers provide assistance in the enforcement of public health orders. To that end, the Provincial Health Officer has now issued Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines for Bylaw Enforcement Officers who provide assistance with the enforcement of public health orders. The list of all current Public Health Officer Orders can be found here.

As highlighted in the Guidelines, enforcement officials are not empowered to enforce (i.e. ticket or detain) with respect to public health orders. Their role is to provide assistance only when called upon by a health officer pursuant to section 90 of the Public Health Act. The province has adopted and implemented a graduated compliance and enforcement approach that generally starts with enforcement officials providing information, education and advice as the first step, with escalating measured enforcement only as required. If the warning is not heeded, the enforcement official is expected to then refer the matter to a health officer for further action.