Sudbury

Over 150 people in northeastern Ontario charged with breaking stay-at-home order

Police in northeastern Ontario are writing far more tickets during this stay-at-home order than during the last province-wide shutdown.

Many tickets given to people from outside northern Ontario here for 'non-essential' reasons

Police in northeastern Ontario have laid out twice as many tickets during the past month compared to the previous stay-at-home order in January and February. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

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. 

Masked shoppers navigate through the new entrance to the Walmart in North Bay. (Erik White/CBC )

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. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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