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Violators of COVID-19 bylaws will be named publicly, says Niagara Regional Council

'The time of education is done,' said St Catharines mayor
face-mask - Getty Images
Face mask. (via Getty Images)

The region is going to start naming names in attempts to dissuade people and establishments from breaking the local COVID-19 restrictions.

In a unanimous vote during a special regional council meeting on Wednesday night, the members agreed to pass a motion to ramp up its enforcement against individuals or businesses that don't follow the local public health rules.

Part of the work is, according to the motion, that 'any fines issued related to COVID-19 related by-laws and public health regulations by the NRP, Public Health, and municipal by-law officials be published.'

The motion was brought forward by St Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik.

"We have to start telling the public who's been fined, and highlighting that the time of education is done," said Sendzik during the meeting.

It was not immediately clear how, or in what stage of the enforcement, that agencies would release any names.

The meeting largely circulated around the recent Section 22-order, that puts additional responsibility on restaurant owners, and restricts a dining party to immediate members of their household.

Since the order came into effect on November 11, several councils around the region have expressed concerns over the order, that was put in effect by the region's acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, within his mandate as a public health officer.

The motion calls for the Section 22-order to be 'reviewed every two weeks' by the council, even though the order can only be imposed by the medical officer of health.

Council made a recommendation that the Section 22 order be amended with respect to who can be seated at a table at a restaurant and to remove the requirement limited to household members only.

The council also ordered Hirji to immediately enact a plan with the area town administrations and the NRP to work out a plan regarding 'strict enforcement' of the pandemic-related bylaws.