Police, not Health Unit to Enforce Shutdown


It appears the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit can issue a ticket if a business is breaking the Reopening Ontario Act but cannot shut it down.

"The enforcement piece rest with the law enforcement agencies," says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed. 

He says the health unit's role is public health and staff members are not trained or equipped to deal with confrontation stemming from the Reopening Ontario Act.  

"We need the law enforcement agencies to step up and do the rightful that's needed to ensure the rule of law is followed and everyone is following what is under the legislation and what is in the Reopening Ontario Act," he says.   

Dr. Ahmed says laws must be followed.

"When we are finding that this is the violation, we can issue ticket," says Dr. Ahmed.  "We can put some of these businesses and violations under our orders but at the end of the day it's about law.  "It's about ensuring that the law is being followed which is not something that we can enforce and we have to rely on our law enforcement agencies."        

As heard on AM800 news on Tuesday, Family Kitchen on Erie Street in Leamington is going against the provincial shutdown order and is continuing to serve customers inside the restaurant.

Restaurant owner Kirsty Leathem says she's been operating since early February and her business is how she supports her three children and 16 employees who also have families.

A demonstration was held outside of the restaurant Tuesday attracting hundreds of people.

OPP cruisers were seen driving by but did not stop.

AM800 news received a statement from provincial police.  It reads "People have the right to protest peacefully.  Our role is to keep the peace at this time."