Closed means closed says Oakville Mayor Rob Burton

Thu, 09 Apr 2020

Fines of $750 and more will be issued for violating COVID-19 emergency order

The Town of Oakville reminds residents that the Ontario government issued an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as parks, sports fields and playgrounds to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This is in addition to the order that prohibits social gatherings of more than five people.

The town has also implemented a by-law to enforce physical distancing. Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them can be fined a minimum of $300 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence.

In keeping with the emergency order, all town parks and park facilities are closed. This includes:

  • playgrounds
  • sports fields
  • skateboard parks
  • basketball courts
  • dog parks
  • community gardens
  • picnic sites
  • harbours
  • beaches
  • park and street benches

Town-owned cemeteries are also closed to visitors, and funerals are limited to no more than 10 people.

Walkways and trails remain available to the public to walk through if absolutely necessary, but users must not linger in groups and must continue to practice physical distancing.

The overall message that the provincial and federal governments and public health officials are telling us is: stay home.

“It’s been said loud and clear, but some people are not getting the message. Closed means closed. Do not use,” said Mayor Burton. “This is a serious issue. We all know now that this virus is highly contagious and can be deadly. What we’re doing now – closing parks and encouraging people to stay home will save lives. I urge everyone, and I urge parents to tell their children, stop getting together with friends in parks. They are closed for a reason - to keep people safe. If we all follow the rules now, the sooner we can flatten the curve.”

The Province has established fines of $750 or more for those who violate the emergency order. This order applies to gatherings on private property as well as public property. As the weather gets nicer, citizens are reminded they should not be having backyard barbecues or pool parties with friends and neighbours.

As all gatherings of five or more are prohibited, the town has cancelled all planned town events through to July 3, including cancelling the Community Spirit Awards on June 11, and the Canada Day celebrations in Bronte on July 1.

Residents are urged to follow the instruction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and stay home except for essential reasons, such as to access health care services; shop for groceries; pick-up medication at the pharmacy; walk pets when required; and support vulnerable community members.

If you must go out, please remember:

  • Do not linger.
  • Do not walk or gather in groups.
  • Stay two metres (six feet) away from everyone else.
  • Keep dogs on a two-metre leash.
  • Dispose of garbage, including dog waste and used masks and gloves properly in garbage cans.

To report violations of the emergency order, call the Halton Police COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722 or ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601.

Find more information on the town’s response to the COVID-19 emergency on our COVID-19 Information page or visit the Halton Region website for health-related information.