• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Retailers Show Improvement in Complying with Public Health Guidelines

February 10, 2021

Ontario's provincial offences officers have visited more than 2,308 big-box stores and other essential retail businesses across the province in 2021, and those complying with public health guidelines have increased by almost 19 per cent over three consecutive weeks. To date, 218 tickets have been issued to businesses and individuals during 16 inspection campaigns. Reasons most cited for non-compliance were failure to properly screen staff and workplaces not having COVID-19 workplace safety plans. "We are seeing the positive effect of having boots on the ground, ensuring businesses are following health and safety guidelines to protect their workers and customers from COVID-19," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "Despite this progress, businesses, beware: We will continue with these workplace inspections as they play a key role in helping our province reopen and operate safely." In addition to inspecting retail stores, occupational health and safety inspectors and employment standards officers from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development have launched an inspections blitz in the warehousing and distribution sector in Peel Region, which has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. The warehouse and distribution blitz is focusing on adherence to COVID-19 safety requirements, including physical distancing, screening, masking and the need to have a safety plan. Provincial offences officers from across government, alongside local public health units and by-law departments. are planning future inspection blitzes in the public health regions of Peterborough, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and Eastern Ontario. Previous campaigns have been in Toronto, Peel, York, Durham, Niagara, Hamilton, Halton, Waterloo, Windsor, Ottawa, Huron-Perth and Simcoe Muskoka.