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Zero COVID-19 related tickets issued in Hinton

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

No COVID-19 related tickets have been issued in Hinton since April 9 when parameters to support the Local State of Emergency (SOLE) became enforceable.

The Town of Hinton gave its residents a grace period of seven days from the time a SOLE was declared until restrictions and safety measures were enforceable.

Level one and two Peace Officers of the Protective Services Division under the Public Health Act or Emergency Management Act, as well as RCMP via the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement parameters or the provincial restrictions can issue tickets for noncompliance of the COVID-19 measures.

“Community response has been mostly positive and collaborative, with some questions for further information,” stated Josh Yaworski, public information officer of Hinton’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Beyond the town website, social media, print ads, posted signage, and infographic distribution to educate the public, Peace Officers have been engaged in community monitoring and patrols.

During the grace period following the declaration of SOLE, peace officers spoke to residents and businesses about the new measures.

All essential services, which are directly impacted by the new measures, received a letter with detailed parameters of restrictions that would impact their business. 

Yaworski added that this education is continuing, with enforcement actions occurring only in areas of flagrant defiance or intentional disobedience rather than misinterpretation based on officer discretion.

Yaworski also added that off leash areas for pets are recommended to be on-leash, but are not a parameter of the SOLE.

The Town of Hinton did not respond before The Voice deadline on which other restrictions are considered recommendations.