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Local compliance officers to maintain provincial guidelines

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:10 PDT, Thu April 2, 2020

New guidelines are now in place to support compliance with the provincial health officer’s orders on business closures and gatherings.

The new guidelines apply to municipal bylaw officers and other compliance officers. They provide clear instruction on warnings, public education and fines that officers can issue to maintain compliance with provincial orders.

“Local governments are key partners in ensuring the provincial health officer’s orders are obeyed so people in our communities can stay healthy,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

The province will also redeploy provincial compliance staff from other ministries in order to support local governments. This includes liquor and cannabis control and licensing inspectors, gambling enforcement and investigations officers, and community safety personnel.

According to last week’s provincial orders, bylaw enforcement officers do not have the ability to detain an individual or issue a fine or penalty.

However, these officers can monitor facilities and areas closed to the public, provide businesses and members of the public with warnings, information, and advice, and provide information on potential contraventions of public health orders for followup by health authorities.

Any enforcement will be at the direction of the provincial health officer or local medical health officer. 

Public concerns regarding compliance with the PHO’s orders should be directed to local governments, who can dispatch bylaw officers for followup.  

To view the PHO’s guidance toward compliance and enforcement, click.

All PHO orders and guidance documents can be found here: www.gov.bc.ca/PHOguidance

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