A blitz of big-box stores lead by the provincial government has made its way to Simcoe County.
South Simcoe Police officers, Ministry of Labour investigators and bylaw enforcement officers teamed up for inspections Friday and Saturday. The goal was to ensure essential businesses in Bradford and Innisfil are following public health protocols.
Inspections are continuing at big-box stores, grocery stores, service stations, hotels, warehousing and manufacturing businesses in communities across the region, including Barrie, Bracebridge, Orillia, Collingwood Huntsville.
On Saturday, shoppers outside one Innisfil grocery store expressed gratitude for the check-ups.
Premier Doug Ford announced the inspection blitzes after criticism for allowing big-box stores to remain open for in-person shopping amid the province-wide lockdown.
Last weekend, the province inspected 523 businesses across Toronto, Hamilton and the Waterloo region and found 60 per cent of businesses had at least one infraction.
The Ministry of Labour had said the most common violations include people not wearing the proper protective equipment and maintaining physical distancing. Sanitation and cleanliness of places like lunchrooms and washrooms were also flagged.
The ministry expects to have a tally of infractions at Simcoe County businesses by Monday.
The fines for failing to comply with the orders under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act are $1,000 for corporations and $750 for individuals, including customers and employees. If convicted, fines could reach as high as $100,000 for individuals, plus one year in prison.