Using his emergency powers, on Thursday (April 2nd) Toronto Mayor John Tory signed a new bylaw that requires us to remain two-metres apart from one another in city parks and public squares for at least the next 30 days, into the first week of May.
Naturally, we’re all going a bit stir crazy locked-down at home, or locked-out of our workplaces and/or community business services. Who doesn’t love watching dogs and children play in the park? What was once a part of our daily routines is, temporarily, a luxury we cannot afford.
The personal consequences to those of you we see setting a sharp contrast of self-regard trumping your sense of public spirit and social responsibility, will be dire. By continuing to flaunt the law you may be fined, up to $5,000. The City has asked Ontario’s Chief Justice to allow issuing $750 tickets on the spot.
“The time for puzzlement at this misbehaviour is over,” Mayor Tory said at City Hall. “Lives are potentially at stake and we will turn up the heat in the hopes that the few who still don’t get it or pretend not to get it will get with the program.”
Tory added the City will focus on areas—such as CityPlace has reported—where there is “wilful and repeated disobedience.”
19th Century English novelist Samuel Butler was quoted as saying, “If the hangover preceded the intoxication, then alcoholism would be a virtue.” So, cheer up Hamlet, if you can be accountable for a temporary rough patch of discomfort and inconvenience, you’ll be doing yourself and the rest of us a great kindness.
The City of Toronto could see between 600 and 3,000 deaths by the time the Covid-19 pandemic ends. More than 100 Ontarians have already succumbed to this virus.
Peter Chiaramonté, PhD