Sudbury residents have mixed opinions on fining people who don't follow COVID-19 restrictions
SUDBURY -- In less than a week, the Greater Sudbury Police Service has issued two $750 fines to people who aren’t following the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
Police said calls related to people violating the order have increased since the holiday season, but they are still trying to educate people before enforcing the rules with charges.
“In most cases, officers have determined that there have not been any violations or that there is still some confusion surrounding the regulations,” said police spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn.
“We are resorting to education first and foremost … However, people who demonstrate a complete disregard for the regulations that are in place will be issued a fine.”
CTV News spoke with pedestrians in the city, who voiced their opinion about the $750 fine.
'If they had a vaccine for stupidity, I’d be all for it'
Gatherings are an absolute no no," one woman said. "If they had a vaccine for stupidity, I’d be all for it. As for fines, $750 is great, if it doesn’t work ... double it, triple it, whatever it takes.”
Another woman agreed, saying a fine could help people learn from their mistakes.
“We need to be quite strict about that and charge the $750, or even more," she said. "I know a lot of people can’t afford it, but maybe they will reflect upon what they are doing.”
But one Sudbury man said he would like to see more education, instead of charges.
“I think if they were more proactive with it, the enforcement officers, if they even had the people come on a Saturday morning to a 10 o’clock lecture, then maybe some healthy discussion would ensue,” he said.
North East Region OPP Sgt. Carlo Bernardi said police have been educating residents about COVID-19 protocols for almost a year, and now they’re starting to lay charges.
“At this point, I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet that doesn’t know about COVID-19, and how governments are trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Bernardi said.
The state of emergency and stay-at-home order in Ontario is in place at least until the second week in February.