Statement by Thunder Bay Police Chief Sylvie Hauth

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Thunder Bay – Thunder Bay Police Service Chief of Police Hauth has issued a statement on the Service’s stand on the Stay at Home Order.

I wanted to provide you with an overview of our position as a Police Service regarding the new Stay at Home Orders which are in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and the Revised Orders under the Reopening Ontario Act.

The reason for these orders is simple: our health care system is in a dire situation and an escalated response is required to ensure we slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

We all have a part to play in this pandemic, especially in complying with the provincial orders. Please be assured that the Thunder Bay Police Service will be taking a fair and reasonable approach regarding the enforcement of the new orders. We will respond as necessary as the situation dictates. We will continue to work with Health Unit Inspectors who are currently the primary investigative authority on compliance charges.

The Health Unit will continue to ensure that only permitted businesses are open for the specified hours, that gatherings are limited to no more than 5 individuals, wearing of masks as specified in the act, and that social distancing is occurring within businesses and organizations. We will continue to work jointly on ensuring that the orders are followed and that charges are laid when warranted.

We all have obligations regarding the provincial orders. The members of the Thunder Bay Police Service will continue to focus on the 4 E’s:

• Engage (with the individuals)
• Explain (why we are there)
• Educate (on the rules and regulations)
• Enforce (as a last resort)

This approach has proven to be very successful.

We recognize that that the vulnerable members of the community have many challenges in dealing with this health crisis. The Stay at Home Orders do not apply to homeless people. The Thunder Bay Police Service, along with our partner organizations continue to be sensitive to their needs.

This community has responded well to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an understanding that as individuals, we each have an important role to play in staying safe in the face of this health crisis. Please continue to follow the health guidelines. The emergency orders are there for our protection.

Do your part by complying with the Stay at Home Orders.

Sylvie Hauth
Chief of Police – Thunder Bay Police Service