By-Law officers in London, Ont. ready to enforce shutdown rule breakers

City of Toronto bylaw officers are seen in Woodbine Park on April 10, 2020. (CP24)

For the past three weeks Lambton County has had a number of businesses openly defy the province's lockdown orders.

Gym owners and hair salons have kept operating despite orders from the province fitness centres and personal care services are not permitted to operate.

Ahead of Saturday's provincial 'emergency brake' Thames Centre Deputy Mayor Kelly Elliot tweeted she's hearing some Southwestern Ontario businesses are thinking of doing the same.

"I also say this hearing from local businesses who are considering “revolting” from today’s announcement and continuing to open because they can’t keep doing this," Elliot tweeted Thursday.

"Livelihoods are at stake here. Either we are taking this seriously, or we aren’t. Pick one," she said in a tweet response to Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Should any businesses in the City of London, Ont. decide to open against provincial orders, by-law will be ready.

"If By-law Enforcement is called to or attends a home or business where individuals aren't following the current restrictions, we will use all available enforcement options, including charges and summons, to ensure compliance," says Orest Katolyk, chief of municipal law enforcement.

"These measures are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and well-being of Londoners. Officers will be proactively monitoring in addition to responding to complaints".

During the last shutdown order by the province residents could face fines of $750 for failing to comply with the order and $1,000 for preventing others from complying. Maximum fines for individuals are up to $100,000 and $10 million for corporations. There is also the threat of possible jail time.