Over 150 people in northeastern Ontario charged with breaking stay-at-home order
Many tickets given to people from outside northern Ontario here for 'non-essential' reasons
Police in northeastern Ontario are writing far more tickets during this stay-at-home order than during the last province-wide shutdown.
Greater Sudbury police have gone out to 102 COVID-related calls in the past month and issued 27 fines, compared with 66 calls and 11 tickets during the stay-at-home order in January and February.
Police say of the 27 tickets in the past month, 13 were written at rallies against COVID restrictions, eight at an illegal house party and one given to a person from Quebec visiting Sudbury for non-essential reasons.
During the winter stay-at-home order, Sault Ste. Marie Police responded to 43 calls and wrote 10 tickets. This past month, that's gone up to 88 calls that resulted in 32 fines.
Manager of corporate communications Lincoln Louttit says 24 of those tickets were issued at illegal gatherings organized to protest the COVID restrictions.
"The majority of people are adhering to the restrictions, although many of those people aren't happy with the restrictions, they're doing their part to try to keep themselves, loved ones and the community safe," he says.
Ontario Provincial Police in northeastern Ontario say they gave out 115 warnings and 53 tickets during the last stay-at-home order, but in the past month that's gone up to 311 warnings and 89 charges.
Timmins Police have also been busier, writing about 10 tickets in the past month.
Corporate communications coordinator Marc Depatie says most of them were given to people from outside Timmins who were in the area for non-essential reasons.
"We don't want to be viewed as an agency that is eager to lay these charges. These are sets of circumstances that are easily avoidable," he says.
The City of Timmins says bylaw officers responded to 32 complaints in March and conducted 121 inspections of retail shops, but did not lay any charges.