These Orders were enacted as a result of the increasing positive cases of Covid-19 throughout the Province of Ontario and pressures placed on the health care system. These orders require that non-essential retail stores close their facility to in-person shopping, while allowing curbside orders and delivery to continue, and prohibit indoor dining at restaurants while allowing take-out and delivery to continue and keep people safe.
The municipality appreciates and understands the toll that the lockdowns are having on small businesses. However, municipalities are required to enforce the Provincial Orders. Since the latest Orders were issued, Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers and the Chatham-Kent Police Service have been conducting random audits and monitoring the community.
The municipality has issued one fine for a gathering during the current lockdown, 35 inspections of business have taken place and seven educational warnings issued pertaining to the changes in the current shutdown from the previous.
In addition, Chatham-Kent residents who have concerns about non-essential businesses or social gatherings can continue to report their concerns via phone or email.
To report a concern, individuals can call 519-360-1998, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or email
The municipality is aware of a planned event encouraging local businesses to open their doors in defiance of these Provincial Orders. The Chatham-Kent Police Service, Public Health Unit and By-Law Enforcement are actively monitoring this event as it unfolds and will conduct inspections of the businesses associated with the event and charges will be laid if warranted.
Under the Reopening Ontario Act, a violation of the Provincial Covid-19 regulations may result in a minimum fine of $880.00 for patrons who attend a place of business required to be closed. For businesses that remain open in contravention of the Provincial regulations, fines can be up to $100,000 for individuals and up to $10,000,000 for corporations. The Act also allows for imprisonment of not more than 1 year for business owners who remain open in contravention of the Provincial regulations.
The municipality of Chatham-Kent has been able to maintain case numbers lower than Provincial and National averages due to the cooperation of our residents and businesses. As more and more residents are vaccinated and the social distancing protocols are maintained there is hope that restrictions will soon be eased and we can soon return to re-openings. This is the time to keep our guard up and do everything we can to avoid seeing increased daily numbers of cases seen across Ontario.
Business owners are encouraged to contact Chatham-Kent Economic Development at 519-360-1998 or by dialling 311 for information about Provincial and Federal small business support programs.
CBO, Director, Building Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624