Since this COVID-19 pandemic started, I know a lot of Ontarians have been careful to follow public health advice and provincial rules. However, as many as there are people being careful, there are others who have flouted the rules.
I think it is about time Durham Region and the Kawartha Lakes start to disclose the names of businesses which have been charged and/or closed from breaking provincial restrictions, as well as residents who have been found to have broken health related rules.
Making this information public would give residents and local shoppers a little extra feeling of security, knowing if the business they are entering has been following COVID-19 protocols or not. People would then have their own choice which businesses they would patronize. When it comes down to a question of a person’s safety, the public definitely has a right to know.
It’s not like, it hasn’t been done or isn’t currently being done. York Region keeps a weekly list of businesses, in the region, charged under the Reopening Ontario Act or the Health Protection and Promotion Act. As well, the National Hockey League (NHL) has been making a list public of their players who are either being tested or have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This is not far off from what Regional health officials have been doing over the years by placing health inspection results on the front of businesses.
It also wouldn’t be any different than how Durham Region police name those charged with impaired driving.
Starting a disclosure list would also help with Premier Doug Ford’s promise, of coming down on rule breaking big box stores “like an 800-pound gorilla.” I would hope it could serve as a deterrent, for those who don’t feel like following health guidelines. Maybe, if people knew their transgressions would be put online for everyone to see, they would choose their actions much more carefully.
Caring about the health of us all, especially in the public setting, is a responsibility of us all. Those who indicate their priorities by rule breaking and not complying with public health guidelines, show they just want to do what they want to do and don’t consider the health and safety needs of others. They have rejected the idea of being considered by the rest of the public, as they have disregarded it deliberately. So a crude balance scale must be then employed instead. For public safety transparency is always important, but never more important than in an ongoing national crisis or emergency. It’s time for those who break the rules to be named.