Ottawa Bylaw cracking down on mask scofflaws

The City of Ottawa says 16 charges have been laid under the mandatory mask bylaw since it first came into force July 15, with the bulk of them coming this past weekend.

The figure comes from a statement to CTV News from Bylaw and Regulatory Services (BLRS) regarding a recent case at a local Costco.

"Since July 15, when the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw (TMMB) was enacted by Council, 16 charges have been issued under the bylaw," said Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman. "One of those charges was issued on September 26 to a person for failing to wear a mask at the Costco on Blair Towers Place."

CTV News reported on Saturday that three fines and 92 verbal warnings had been issued since Sept. 1. 

In a follow-up statement to CTV News, Chapman said the additional charges were all laid since Friday.

"BLRS has issued 13 charges under the TMMB since the media response issued in the afternoon of September 25," he said.

Council passed the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw on July 15, making face masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces. On Aug. 26, Council voted to extend the bylaw to the common areas of apartment and condominium buildings.

It is a $240 fine for individuals failing to wear a mask in indoor public places. The fine is $490 for businesses or property operators who fail to follow the rules of the bylaw.

Earlier this month, Ottawa Bylaw said it would be cracking down on enforcement and handing out more fines as COVID-19 cases in Ottawa began to rise significantly.

⚠️The warning phase for the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law is ending.

Officers will continue to exercise discretion, but tickets will be issued in cases where a warning is not deemed sufficient or when repeat offenders are encountered.https://t.co/adM5Nv02m8 #OttCity pic.twitter.com/FRx5XduoGl

— Ottawa By-law (@OttawaBylaw) September 17, 2020

With files from CTV's Stephanie Ha and CTV's Josh Pringle.