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Statement from Mayor Meed Ward: Burlington Approves New Physical Distancing Bylaw

Government of Canada image.
Government of Canada image.

*UPDATE (April 11, 2020): The Province of Ontario has agreed to Burlington increasing the fines to $750 for the two charges associated with the City of Burlington’s Physical Distancing Bylaw to be more in line with other municipalities, such as Oakville.

We wanted the fine to be significant enough to send a message and provided tools of enforcement that the 2 metre/6 foot minimum must be respected for everyone’s health and safety.

When the City introduced the bylaw on April 6, the maximum we could impose was $500, but we simultaneously applied to the courts to allow us to set a higher minimum fine. They granted our request on April 9, so the maximum fine is now $750.

**Please see a statement from Mayor Marianne Meed Ward below.

Burlington, Ont. – April 7, 2020 – Yesterday at a special meeting of council, city council unanimously approved a new physical distancing by-law to support our efforts in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Council considers the protection of health and safety of the public to be a paramount concern, and the direction for the proposed by-law comes from the City’s Emergency Control Group.

The Medical Officer of Health has recommended physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID19, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other individuals who are not members of the same household.

The City of Burlington’s by-law states that while on public property, no person shall stand less than a 2 metre distance to any other person that does not reside with them in a single household or permit a child under the age of 16 to stand less than a 2 metre distance from any other person that does not reside with them in a single household. Upon conviction of an offence under this by-law, a person would be liable for a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000. The by-law is expected to be in effect through the duration of Burlington’s State of Emergency.

We have put together answers to some questions related to this bylaw on my website here, and on the City of Burlington’s website.

We must all act responsibly to ensure the health and well-being of everyone in our city. It is my sincere hope that residents in our community will respect the repeated advice of healthcare experts and voluntarily maintain physical distancing so that no tickets need to be issued under this bylaw.

The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together again.

Sincerely,

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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