CPS dropping 'education over enforcement' approach to health orders

Dec 4 2020, 10:50 am

The Calgary Police Service is changing up how they deal with people breaking the public health orders.

A release from the City of Calgary states that the “Education over enforcement” approach that the service had been using is being pushed to the wayside following anti-mask rallies in the city over the weekend.

“I know there has been much talk in the past several days about enforcement and what the Calgary Police Service is doing, and will do, about those who aren’t abiding by the Public Health Act orders and municipal bylaws,” said Calgary Police Service Chief Mark Neufeld.

“We hoped education over enforcement would help this situation, but we can no longer take that approach with evidence of soaring COVID-19 cases. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be a time and place for discretion; however, those who are blatantly flouting the laws will be ticketed. In the end, this is about public safety and ensuring all Calgarians play a part in flattening the COVID-19 curve.”

The release also noted that seven people were ticketed following Calgary’s recent rallies, and that two additional tickets are in the process of being served.

CPS states that it is not always prudent to issue tickets during rallies, and they may issue tickets in the hours or even days following an offence.

“We’ll continue to focus our enforcement efforts on those individuals who have a clear disregard for the rules and for those who are jeopardizing the health and safety of those around them,” said Chief Bylaw Officer Ryan Pleckaitis in the release.

“We’ll also continue to work with our partners in CPS to provide them with support as required.”

The penalty for breaking the Public Health Act is $1,200 and $50 for not wearing a face mask when it is required.

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