The days of education first when it comes to residents breaking COVID-19 protocols may be a thing of the past.
The new restrictions include a provincial mask mandate which now overrides the RMWB’s own bylaw and their education first priority.
Mayor Don Scott tells Mix News fines should start being strongly considered.
“If people are speeding in a school zone, for example, you can educate them all they want but there needs to come a point where you start initiating fines.”
At this time, no fines have been issued by the RMWB. Several complaints were delegated to Wood Buffalo RCMP.
Moving forward, Scott hopes officers, who’ll be in charge of handing out the fines, will only fine those who are knowingly disobeying the measures.
“There might be some situations where education is appropriate… but, if you have somebody who’s flagrantly breaching a rule and putting others at risk, your neighbours at risk, putting seniors at risk then there needs to be action taken.”
Fines can be as low as $1,000 and as high as $100,000 through the court system.
Meanwhile, the provincial government is expanding its relaunch grant to help businesses impacted by the new restrictions.
They can apply to receive up to $15,000 with the exact dollar amount totaling 15 per cent of pre-pandemic monthly revenues.
At this time, only businesses in communities on the COVID-19 watch list, which includes the RMWB, and have seen a drop in revenue of 30 per cent can apply.
Scott believes this isn’t enough on its own to help local businesses get through this latest set back.
“It’s important people stay healthy but we also need to make sure that our small businesses can continue and be strong through this process.”
He’s hoping the provincial government introduces additional measures in the coming weeks.