Manitoba implementing new measures to enforce physical distancing rules
Published Thursday, April 9, 2020 9:04AM CST Last Updated Thursday, April 9, 2020 9:18PM CST
Premier Brian Pallister
WINNIPEG -- Premier Brian Pallister announced new penalties for Manitobans who violate public health orders.
The premier made the announcement, flanked by Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, Thursday afternoon at the Manitoba Legislative Building.
“The vast majority of Manitobans are doing exactly what the doctor ordered, and that is important, and to them, I say thank you,” Pallister told reporters, “Sadly, there is a small minority who are not doing their part.”
Manitoba is currently under a state of local emergency, which limits public gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
Effective immediately, fine amounts for breaching these emergency orders will be set at $486 for individuals and $2,542 for businesses who violate the orders, the province said.
“These are necessary steps to protect all of us,” Pallister said.
The City of Winnipeg will assist in enforcement. Community service ambassadors will be out to educate the public about the orders and physical distancing requirements starting Saturday.
They will be in parks and closed city facilities, such as athletic fields, skate parks and play structures.
Winnipeg Police bylaw officers will also be involved in enforcement.
“The measures put in place by the Manitoba government, and the corresponding measures we’ve enacted at the city are there for the safety of all in our community,” Bowman said. “Not some. All.”
Bowman said in Winnipeg, residents can be fined up to $1,000 for not following the measures, and could also face six months in prison.
Manitoba RCMP, local police, and First Nations police will be involved in enforcing the measures outside of Winnipeg.
Pallister said Manitobans should be prepared to change their behaviour.
“I would tell those who are so disrespectful of the rest of us that (enforcement officers) will be everywhere, in every neighbourhood, everywhere you are, and that you better be changing the way you’ve been behaving, and you better do it now, or you’re going to be lighter in the pocketbook very, very soon,” he said.
In Winnipeg, reports of non-compliance can be made by calling 311, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @cityofwinnipeg.
Outside of Winnipeg, reports of non-compliance can be made to the Manitoba Government Inquiry (MGI) inquiry line at 204-945-3744 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.