Non-essential business owner to be charged for not closing: Guelph police
KITCHENER -- Guelph police say a business classified as non-essential was caught operating in the city, against provincial directives.
Earlier this week, the Ontario government ordered all non-essential businesses to close for at least 14 days in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
According to a news release, a police officer saw someone leaving the business near Woodlawn Road West and Woolwich Street on Thursday at around 9:30 a.m.
Police pulled over the man as he was driving away from the business.
The man confirmed that the business was open and providing services to customers, according to officials.
About 15 minutes later the officer returned to the business to check if it was open, and found the door was locked and no one answered.
Guelph Police Const. Kyle Grant says that there's a set fine of $750 for this kind of offence, but given the circumstances the punishment could be different.
"Since our officer wasn't actually able to speak with the owner as, again, when they returned to the business it was now locked and no answer at the door, it will ultimately be up to the judge to decide what their penalty will be," he explains.
Police say the business owner has been issued a summons under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
A 48-year-old woman from Maple, Ont. will be charged with failing to comply with an order made during a declared emergency.
She is scheduled to appear in court on July 16th.
"Our officers are out 24 hours a day patrolling our city," said Grant. "If they observe a non-essential business they will investigate and lay an appropriate charge if deemed necessary."
Police have not identified the business inquestion and only say that is non-essential.
Officials say that anyone who witnesses an individual disobeying the provincial order, or using facilities that have been closed by the city, to call the by-law office or non-emergency line of the police.