38 people fined for mask violations in Ottawa; Council asked to extend mandatory mask bylaw until January

OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw has issued $240 fines to 38 people over the past seven weeks for failing to wear a mask or not properly wearing a mask in indoor public spaces in Ottawa.

The statistics come as Council will vote Wednesday on a motion to make face masks mandatory in all indoor public places, common areas of apartments and condominiums and on OC Transpo buses until at least January. 

The Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw is set to expire on Oct. 31, unless Council extends it.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services says officers have issued 59 charges under the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw (TMMB) since Sept. 1.

“Thirty-eight of which were issued to individuals either for failing to wear a mask or not for properly wearing a mask. The fine for these offences is $240, including the Victim Surcharge,” said Bylaw Services Director Roger Chapman.

“Other charges under the TMMB include charges to business owners and property operators for failing to post the required signage and/or for failing to provide hand sanitizer at all entrances.”

The fine for business owners and property operators failing to post the required signage and/or failing to provide hand sanitizer at all entrances is $490, including the Victim Surcharge.”

Last week, the Transit Commission was told seven customers were fined between Oct. 9 and Oct. 18 for not wearing a mask on OC Transpo buses, the O-Train or in transit stations.

On Oct. 8, Chapman told CTV News Ottawa that three charges were issued for mask violations in contravention of Provincial Orders. The fine for failing to comply with Provincial Orders is $880.

MANDATORY FACE MASKS UNTIL AT LEAST JANUARY

Face masks could be mandatory in all indoor public spaces in Ottawa and on OC Transpo buses through the end of the year and into January.

On Wednesday, Council will vote on a motion from Councillors Jenna Sudds and Keith Egli to have Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on the day after the first regularly scheduled meeting of Council in 2021, unless Council extends the bylaw again.

The motion notes that, “Ottawa continues to report cases of COVID-19 and the provincial government has identified Ottawa as one of three areas of Ontario needing greater restrictions for re-opening due to COVID-19 cases.”

On July 15, Council enacted the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw, requiring the wearing of face masks in enclosed public spaces and on transit property.  On Aug. 26, Council voted to extend the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw to make masks mandatory in an apartment or condominium building’s common areas, including entrances, elevators and laundry rooms.

The city says the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw is scheduled to end Oct. 31 but may be extended further based on the status of the pandemic. The bylaw will be reviewed every two months or so.

The Ontario Government recently amended restrictions in response to COVID-19 to include mask-related regulations across the province, but the Sudds and Egli motion notes “those regulations exclude certain desirable provisions of the City of Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw.”

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