Police laid criminal charges after being called to a Midland business earlier this week.
Southern Georgian Bay OPP Const. David Hobson said police were called to the business Monday evening and charged a number of people under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) and Emergency Management Civil Protection Act.
“One of those persons was further charged under the Criminal Code with obstruction (of justice),” said Hobson.
Hobson declined to identify the business where the incident occurred or the identity of the person charged after being asked to confirm both during a conversation with MidlandToday.
MidlandToday also reached out to the person allegedly charged, but did not receive a return call by publication time.
Added Hobson: “The person was held for a bail hearing and was released with a future court date in Midland court.”
Hobson said the latest stay-at-home order has kept Southern Georgian Bay OPP officers busy since being implemented earlier this month.
“Front-line OPP members are continuing to enforce the provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection and the Reopening Ontario Acts,” he said.
Hobson said officers will investigate and take necessary action in response to incidents reported under the two acts along with the provincial stay-at-home order.
He said police are also working closely with the local health unit and municipal bylaw enforcement officers.
Hobson said anyone who believes a gathering is not following the law or a business is operating illegally, should report it to municipal bylaw enforcement or the OPP.
“We continue to encourage the public to follow the direction of their health officials,” Hobson said.
“And currently, detachment officers are responding to calls for service and responding to COVID-19 complaints," he added. "Our officers are actively educating, warning and in some circumstances, issuing charges under the ROA and under the Emergency Management Civil Protection Act.”
In a release, the OPP noted public safety, including that of demonstrators, is always the top priority.
“As a result, charges may not be laid at the time of the incident, but could be laid at a later time after a thorough investigation,” the release stated.
Fines are $750 for failing to comply with an order and/or $1,000 for preventing others (including individuals, employees or other workers) from following an order. Maximum fines for individuals are up $100,000 and $10 million for a corporation. Failure to follow the rules can result in prosecution or jail time.