Provincial inspectors preparing to visit big box stores this weekend

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The province is launching an inspection blitz of big box stores this weekend.

50 inspectors will be joined by local bylaw and police officers. They will be visiting stores in Toronto, Peel, York, Durham, and Hamilton.

The inspections will then expand across the province by next week.

The province has put a 25 per cent capacity limit on big box stores so inspectors will be looking to ensure that is being followed. "The ministry inspectors will meet with management and do a walk through to determine if they are at a 25 per cent capacity. They know the square footage of these buildings. Furthermore, we put out over 200 guidelines and help for every type of business out there. They know exactly what they need to be doing," explains Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton.

Customers may be fined, as well. "The Ministry of Labour inspectors are now empowered to issue $750 fines to people who are not wearing masks or not wearing masks properly in big box stores or other workplaces."

Hundreds of other provincial inspectors will continue to visit manufacturing and food processing plants, construction sites, and warehouse facilities to ensure health and safety protocols are being followed.

Fifty-five workplaces and job sites have been shut down since the start of the pandemic.