Widespread compliance with the new stay-at-home order is being credited for the low number of tickets issued in Peel over the weekend, a shift in behaviour from the illegal parties that thrust the community into the spotlight in the summer.
Peel’s police chief and politicians say the low number of tickets issued over the weekend speaks to the community now understanding the severity of the threat posed by COVID-19.
“Hopefully, it’s an indication of compliance. We did not receive a lot of complaints from the public over the last few days,” Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah told the Star Tuesday.
Peel Regional Police confirmed that it had issued five tickets and one warning since the stay-at-home order came into effect, but was unable to clarify the exact breach the fines were issued for.
In the past week, Mississauga’s bylaw enforcement team issued fines for 14 violations, which included 11 to businesses and three for gatherings.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she’s pleased with how residents and businesses have been obeying the rules.
She attributed the levels of compliance in Mississauga to the fact that Peel Region has been in varying degrees of lockdown for close to two months, and residents have adjusted their habits over time.
“The message has been and continues to be the same: stay at home, only leave for essential activities and limit close in-person contacts to just your immediate household,” she said Monday.
Brampton officials laid five charges related to COVID-19 rule violations over the weekend. Three of those tickets were due to a violation of the stay-at-home order after a small group was caught gathering in a parking lot.
The other two charges, laid under the Reopening Ontario Act, were people visiting a resident that was not part of their own household, Brampton officials confirmed Monday.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said most residents now grasp the severity of the situation.
“We have seen a high level of compliance in response to the stay-at-home order announced last week,” Brown said Monday.
Each of the fines issued in Brampton over the weekend were $880, for a total of $4,400 in fines.
Mississauga enforcement officers, inspectors from the labour ministry and local public health officials conducted inspections of six big-box store locations in Mississauga over the weekend and found that all were complying.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones told the Star the Mississauga enforcement of large outlets was part of a provincial blitz of big-box operations that started on the weekend.
“They are going on site to both manufacturing and businesses that continue to operate to make sure they’re doing so in a safe manner,” said Jones.
Brampton was thrust into the spotlight in the summer when it became the hotbed for large parties, one of which attracted an estimated 200 people in July and another where police ended up being called to a shooting.
Brampton officials said that between March 31 and early November, officers laid 940 charges, including 66 summonses, for violation of the relevant provincial rules and city bylaws targeting large residential gatherings and other emergency measures violations.
In Mississauga, 424 tickets and or fines were handed out over the same time. In both cities, people hosting residential gatherings accounted for most of the fines.
Cases against people fined for hosting illegal parties in the summer are trickling through the courts."
Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him on email: email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic
Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star