Corey Yanofsky, a data scientist living in Ottawa, took his dog out for a walk last week and ended up with an $880 fine for standing in the wrong place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Obi Ifedi of Ottawa was walking through a park with his daughter April 4 when he was approached by a city bylaw officer. He says he was eventually tackled and ended the evening with a bruised lip and fines totalling more than $2,000.
Then there was Melissa Leblanc of the Montreal suburb of Beaconsfield, who was greeted by police at her door April 5 after family and friends wished her a happy birthday from their cars.
Community Interviews with Moose FM
They are just a handful of the hundreds of Canadians feeling the impact of policies that governments have put in place since March aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. But experts in criminology and law are pushing back against the conventional wisdom that giving police the power to levy heavy fines will make people safer.
Story continues below advertisement
They argue public health directives are unclear, and the way they are being enforced is counterproductive and a distraction from the failure of the state to better prepare for COVID-19.