Alberta might be stepping in to crack down on rulebreakers soon. Alberta's Minister of Justice, Doug Schweitzer, said that his office wants to consider a "controlled facility" to house people that won't practice self-isolation in Alberta. However, this measure would only be put in place in the most extreme of circumstances.
Doug Schweitzer's spokesperson, Jonah Mozeson, detailed the possibility of a "controlled facility" approach in an email sent to Narcity on Thursday, May 14.
Alberta is reopening its restaurants, retail stores, and several other types of non-essential businesses on May 14, which means more people will likely be leaving their houses to go to work, go shopping, or hit up a restaurant.
As the province begins to reopen gradually, they have begun considering the potential need for "a controlled facility" if a high-risk individual refuses to quarantine or self-isolate in their own home or at a government-provided facility like a hotel room, said Mozeson.
Mozeson also provided an example of the kind of rule-breaking that would get someone sent to a place like this.
An example is if an international traveller comes into Alberta and refuses to self-isolate as per the government guidelines. This is a case of "willingly" putting the Albertan's health at risk, according to the statement.
In such a case, this individual could be "temporarily housed" at a secure facility for their government-mandated 14-day self-isolation period.
So if you continue to break the COVID-19 rules, as a few Albertans have, then it's possible that you could be sent to a facility to complete your self-isolation.
Though Alberta's Justice Minister noted that this has been marked as an "extraordinary last resort," the government must prepare for contingencies, explained the statement.
Schweitzer's team has already identified a possible facility where the offenders could be housed: the Edmonton Young Offenders Centre.
At the moment, 18 young offenders are being held in the facility, although that number often changes.
If the government does go through with this plan, then they're assuring the public that the high-risk individuals won't be placed under quarantine with the young offenders that are normally housed there.
This could create a situation in which the young offenders' health situation may be compromised.
In the event that this does become a reality, "all involved parties" will be notified.
Mozeson also said that the Edmonton Young Offenders Centre is not being closed as of May 14, 2020.
Albertan authorities have already been dishing out fines to people who refuse to self-isolate and continue to break public health orders.
From coughing in the faces of essential workers to refusing to maintain social distancing, it seems that the government has a few ideas in their back pocket to make sure people follow the rules.