OHS Canada Magazine

York Region shares list of box stores fined over COVID-19 violations

Province-wide blitz meant to ensure pandemic safety begins today


TORONTO — Enforcement of COVID-19 rules is ramping up in the Greater Toronto Area, with several big box retailers facing fines over alleged violations.

York Region shared a list of retailers fined over the last week for violations of Ontario’s Reopening Ontario Act, among them major pharmacy and grocery locations.

Retailers are facing $880 individual fines for infractions that include not having a safety plan, inadequate cleaning, improper mask-wearing by employees and failing to post signage about the rules.

Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobeys and Costco locations are among those ticketed.

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Province-wide blitz

The details come amid a government-led enforcement blitz of retailers that is set to expand across the province over the coming weeks.

The government released details today.

Starting today, more than 300 officers will be supporting these blitzes, and will be visiting a variety of workplaces that are allowed to be open during the provincial shutdown such as:

  • retail establishments, including big-box stores
  • restaurants providing take-out meals
  • essential service-sector establishments (such as gas stations)
  • farming operations.

These efforts also build on the province’s recently announced “Stay Safe All Day” campaign, which focuses workplace inspections in areas of high transmission such as break rooms. The campaign provides resource materials to employers and workers to promote safe behaviour before, during and after work.

With files from OHS Canada