Barrie hotline to report violations of emergency measures 705-739-4241, 8 am-11 pm

In his Twitter message to the city Thursday, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman repeated the need to adhere to social distancing advice – maintaining a six-metre distance between you and others, as well as avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store and other retailers still open for business.

Especially important, he said, as we reach the midpoint of what health officials have called a crucial two-week period in terms of caseloads.

He also gave out a hotline number to call, to report violations of emergency measures in place – 705-739-4241. The hotline is manned between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Phone call volumes to the COVID-19 Enforcement Line may require you to leave a message.

Once received, the complaints will be tracked and addressed by the City of Barrie Municipal Law Enforcement Officers, in collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Public Health Inspectors and the Barrie Police Service.

The City will investigate the following:

  • Use of City-owned amenities (including playground structures, skateparks, etc)
  • Gatherings of five or more in a public space
  • Non-essential businesses that are providing in-person services to the public

The City’s Enforcement staff are currently conducting proactive patrols of all city parks. It is an offence to fail to comply with an emergency order. The maximum punishment is one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation.

Lehman said we’re not to the point yet where Barrie needs to invoke fines for those who violate social distancing measures. In Toronto, Mayor John Tory has seen enough. He’ll be enacting a bylaw to impose hefty fines for such violations.

And let’s clear up some misinformation. We received this question last night on our Facebook page:

“I have a question and it may seem odd but I want to get the proper information. I want to know if with this virus is it illegal for me to be driving a friend to do her grocery shopping as she does not drive? I am being told that it is and that I will be pulled over and fined.”

Peter Leon at Barrie Police advises that is not the case, but adds a better option would be to pick up the groceries for the neighbour:

“It Is in everyone’s best interest and personal health and well being to ensure physical distancing since they don’t reside in the same home. She can, however, pick up the groceries and leave them at her door, ring the doorbell and do it safely in this manner.”