One local man’s dog walk ended up costing a lot more than expected. Over the weekend, an Ottawan man was surprised with an $880 fine, for walking his dog alone in Britannia Park. According to a city bylaw officer, he was failing to comply with Ontario’s social distancing rules.
If you’re going to take your dog out for a walk, be extra careful where you go! That’s a lesson that one Britannia man learned the hard way this weekend, after getting slapped with a fine of almost $900.
Corey Yanofsky was out for a stroll on Sunday morning, in a spot that he believed was both dog-friendly and open for walk-throughs.
However, Yanofsky was soon approached by an Ottawa bylaw officer, who ticketed him for failing to comply with the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
“I was walking on the stony field at the end of the breakwater,” Yanofsky explained to Narcity, referring to a spot in Ottawa’s Britannia Park.
“It was apparent that [the officer] wanted to speak to me so I stopped. He approached and we had a conversation, with a pause in the middle for him to take my ID and go to his cruiser to fill out the ticket.”
The next thing Yanofsky knew, he owed the city $880.
Yanofsky told Narcity that while there was no acrimony between himself or the officer, he was surprised at the hefty fine.
According to the officer, there was signage in the park that indicated its close, as per the Ontario Government’s latest social distancing protocol.
Yanofsky admits that he failed to notice the signs, but noted that he was under the impression that parks remained open for walk-throughs.
“The signage,” he later added, “isn’t unambiguous.”
#ottcity @OttawaBylaw My husband was out by himself walking the dog. All the signs say the park and its amenities a… https://t.co/OUxiM2EmcZ— Amelinda Bérubé 👻👻 (@Amelinda Bérubé 👻👻)1586107143.0
Yanofsky isn't the only one to have been given an $880 fine over the last week.
In Toronto, a group of day-drinkers were given a bill of the same amount, after they were caught drinking in a group of five outside.
This comes after the province promised to crack down on people not following social distancing rules, after verbal warnings seemed to be having no impact on people who were out-and-about.
@carbonfixated @metuiteme @OttawaBylaw *not* walk through the park, apparently https://t.co/vdma8DsFHN— Corey Yanofsky, sparkling statistician (@Corey Yanofsky, sparkling statistician)1586138632.0
Last week, the city of Ottawa confirmed that bylaw officers would be able to enforce social distancing protocol, as well as dish out fines of up to $100,000.
Ontario’s latest COVID-19 prevention measures prohibit gatherings of more than five people, visiting local parks or outdoor sports facilities, and the use of play structures and park equipment.
While some areas are still open for walk-throughs, it’s best to check all of the signage in the area first, especially if you want to avoid receiving a hefty ticket!
As of Monday afternoon, Ontario had 4,347 confirmed cases of COVID-19.