Orillia mayor pleased with up-take of stay-at-home order
ORILLIA, ONT. -- The first Saturday under a province-wide stay-at-home order made was a quiet day in Orillia.
It was a welcome surprise to Mayor Steve Clarke, who hopes it's a sign people are getting the message.
The city's waterfront was crowded the past few weekends, and officials had worried about a repeat of a busy summer.
"Driving around today," said Clarke Saturday, "that didn't seem to be the case."
While many municipalities have are allowing skaters onto outdoor rinks, Orillia's are blocked off.
"We have decided that the rinks are a natural gathering place and very popular," said Clarke. "We decided to keep those closed."
Clark added that having a city employee monitor each rink as the provincial government mandates does not fit with a request to work from home as much as possible.
The mayor made the rounds of toboggan hills Saturday and found sliders following proper protocol. Clarke hopes it stays that way.
"There weren't too many people there, and everybody was distancing wonderfully, and if that continues, (hills) will stay open," he said. "If it causes gathering and unsafe behaviour, we will be forced to look at it again."
Orillia is still evaluating whether it's necessary to bring in more bylaw officers. But Clarke hopes tickets aren't needed.
"If everyone behaves, we can leave some activities open, and don't have to enforce," he said. "If we see poor behaviour we will have to change that, and we don't want to."
The city is working alongside OPP and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to ensure residents are following the health regulations set out by the provincial government.
Const. Katy Viccary said they are responding to complaints from the public when it comes to the violation of provincial orders and that they aren't afraid to crack down.
"Those who are found in contravention of the act, or defying the act, who we have previously provided education to, could potentially be fined $750," said Viccary.
Viccary stressed that people shouldn't call 911 to report non-compliance. Non-emergency issues can be reported at 1-888-310-1122.