Enforcement of public health orders, mask bylaw, will continue to focus on 'superspreader events'

·2 min read

Officers in Calgary have issued 11 tickets this past week for violations of provincial public health orders and nine tickets for non-compliance with the city's mask bylaw.

"We will continue to focus our efforts on events that create the greatest risk to public health or public safety. These include large protests, bars and nightclubs that remain open and large religious gatherings that are not complying with the occupancy limits," said Ryan Pleckaitis, the city's chief bylaw officer.

"Our focus is and will continue to be on large superspreader events."

Three of the tickets issued over the past week were to individuals involved in protests downtown. Two provincial tickets and one mask bylaw ticket were issued as a result of a religious gathering that took place Dec. 6.

Business inspections

Pleckaitis said there are additional tickets under the Public Health Act and other city bylaws that officers are still attempting to serve that are not included in that total.

He said a team comprised of city licence inspectors and representatives from Alberta Health Service, police and bylaw have been conducting inspections at businesses throughout the city. He says the vast majority are in compliance with provincial restrictions that came into force Dec. 13 and working hard to do so.

Three warnings have been issued for violations and one ticket was handed out.

Andrew Brown/CBC
Andrew Brown/CBC

Supt. Ryan Ayliffe with the Calgary police said officers take no pleasure in handing out tickets but are committed to "bending the COVID-19 curve."

He said there are several rumours circulating on social media that are not true.

"We're not driving around checking in the registration of vehicles parked outside of homes and then issuing tickets to those whose information doesn't match the homeowner. We're not randomly stopping vehicles and handing out tickets to those who are carpooling to and from work," said Ayliffe.

"We are, however, conducting more check stops, looking for impaired drivers. We are targeting those who attend and organize large gatherings. And we are ticketing individuals who willfully disregard what all of us are working so hard to do — bring down the COVID-19 infections."