The city of Winnpeg says they have inspected more than 150 businesses so far as the entire province moved into level red restrictions.
Jason Shaw, the city’s assistant chief of emergency management operations, said Winnipeg bylaw officers have been around to 159 targeted businesses so far during the first week of stricter lockdowns.
Of those 159 businesses, two people were warned for not wearing masks, and two businesses were fined $5,000 for failing to close when they were supposed to.
Those two businesses were Gymboree, as reported earlier this week, and Serratus Movement Centre, a children’s indoor play centre.
Numerous businesses were also ticketed by provincial officers over the past two weeks.
Winnipeg’s bylaw officers are working well with their provincial counterparts, said Shaw.
“Our orders are to enforce businesses that should be closed … and enforce orders where there are capacity limits. Some businesses are allowed to be opened with certain capacity numbers.
“So we’re doing that. And I think the orders are clear. If you’re, if you’re told to be closed, there’s a list.”
Shaw said, for the most part, businesses and people have been complying.
“But there’s going to be the odd person that isn’t. So when that happens, we will issue a ticket.”
Shaw said they would consider adding more bylaw officers if asked to do so by the province.
We’re always speaking with the province and taking a look at what their needs are, collaborating on a daily basis, and we’ll see where we can help.
“So the answer is yes. If there’s an ask, we’re going to listen and we’re there.”
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman told Global News Morning on Friday that communication with the province around level red has been going well. “We get the information like everyone else and when we get it, we act on it,” he said.
Bowman said he understands why people are frustrated.
“This is a very difficult time for Winnipeggers and for Manitobans. I’m seeing a lot of empathy, and a lot of care and concern in our community, and I just want to offer some kindness to our health-care heroes.”
When asked if the province is doing enough on personal care homes, Bowman said, “Well, we haven’t seen substantive change on the ground.”
“I’m pleased to hear that the Red Cross is coming in to help. I think it’s been pretty clear for Manitobans that the province does need help and we have been and will continue to be there to offer our support.
“Part of my concern that we’ve been raising relates to the shelter system. We want to make sure that the lessons learned from a staffing perspective make sure the resources are there when COVID strikes the facilities. That is an area of particular concern, we hope that the province has taken those lessons to heart and has better prepared for COVID in shelters.”
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