COVID-19 update: Bylaw Enforcement Officer Assistance

News

The City of Vernon would like to provide clarification in regards to Ministerial Order No. M082 under the Emergency Program Act and Bylaw Enforcement Officer Assistance.

On March 26, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced that under section 9 (1) of the Emergency Program Act, Bylaw enforcement officers are to provide assistance “as may be required for the purposes of enforcing public health orders.”

According to the Order, the assistance provided by Bylaw officers may include:

  • Monitoring facilities and areas closed to the public by a public health order;
  • Providing warnings, information and advice to businesses and members of the public in respect of public health orders, including warnings to businesses and members of the public who may be acting in contravention of a public health order;
  • Providing health officers with information in respect of potential contraventions of a public health order.

Under the Order, Bylaw officers are not authorized to:

  • Detain an individual as a result of a contravention or suspected contravention of a public health order, or
  • Issue a fine or penalty, including an administrative penalty, under the Public Health Act.

If Bylaw officers observe a possible contravention of a public health order (such as a large gathering of people), they may provide members of the public with education and verbal warnings, but then must report the possible contravention to the Provincial Health Authority for any further action.

Further details on Ministerial Order No. M082 are available here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/mo/mo/2020_m082.