A THIRD OF BIG BOX STORES INSPECTED IN GTHA NON-COMPLIANT WITH COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

Jan 18, 2021

By Jane Brown

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If you’ve been in a big box store in the GTA or Hamilton lately and you’ve felt public safety rules were not in effect, that could very well have been the case.

(A long line of customers waits to shop at the Costco store at Creekside Crossing Shopping Mall in Mississauga, Ont., on Jan. 12, 2021)

During a blitz of big box stores over the weekend, safety inspectors with the Ontario Ministry of Labour found 36 businesses were violating COVID-19 related safety rules.

Toronto Mayor John Tory commented on the violations which represent about 30 percent non-compliance.

“I think these big box stores which in my view aside from groceries should be closed anyway but they’re not” Tory to CP24, “I think they should get serious about this and we should have that compliance rate down to a handful of percentage points by next weekend, because there’s absolutely no reason not to and people, individual shoppers, need to take their responsibility seriously too.”

Inspectors focused on compliance with masking and physical distancing rules, as well as other health guidelines.

The stores found violating the orders have not been named by the Ministry of Labour.

The weekend blitz came days after the Doug Ford PCs enacted an order requiring Ontario residents to stay home for all but essential purposes, such as shopping for groceries, essential work, outdoor exercising and healthcare.

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