Prince George bylaw officers will be enforcing public health orders issued by B.C. medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Bylaw officers will be providing information to residents and monitoring facilities that have been closed by public health orders, according to a statement released by the city on Tuesday.
"The city’s role is to educate, monitor and warn the public when they may be in potential violation of the Provincial Health Orders, and to relay information to Provincial Health Officers. The province maintains the authority to enforce offences through penalty under the Public Health Act," city spokesman Michael Kellett said in an email. "This will be a complaint-driven process, which means that the city must receive a complaint about a potential infraction of the Public Health Order before an investigation will begin."
Residents can file a complaint by dialling 311, or contacting bylaw services at 250-561-7622 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Animal control officers and parking control officers will continue to focus on public safety issues related to their areas, while also assisting with educating the public about Provincial Health Orders related to COVID-19," Kellett said.
The city has eight bylaw officers, four animal control officers and three parking control officers.
The move comes after the provincial government authorized municipal bylaw officers to enforce public health orders on March 26, under the Emergency Program Act.
Changes coming to council meeting
A provincial order also allows city council to hold council meeting without the public present, and facilitates councillors attending remotely via teleconferencing.
City council will consider options on how to conduct its meetings, including options regarding public hearings, at its next council meeting on April 6.
one of the options available would allow council to adopt some bylaws in a single meeting, which previously required multiple council meetings.
City council meetings will continue to be live-streamed online at www.princegeorge.ca/council.