Ontario is launching a series of zero-tolerance workplace safety inspections in sectors and regions hardest hit by COVID-19. 

Labour Minister Monty McNaughton said this ramped-up blitz will begin tomorrow with warehouses, food processors and manufacturers in Peel and Halton Regions.

There will be increased inspections and enforcement across the province including enhanced education and outreach to the construction sector, a robust and expanding program for rapid antigen screening for COVID-19 in construction, along with a zero-tolerance approach to enforcement of COVID-19 safety requirements on construction projects.

McNaughton said the province will continue risk-based inspections of farms employing temporary foreign workers.

Officers will also be helping retailers understand the new requirements under the State of Emergency to bring them into compliance, including the selling of only essential items. 

McNaughton said his government will work with local enforcement personnel to enforce and bring retailers into compliance where necessary.

If a violation is more serious, he said a person can be charged with failing to comply with an order under the acts. 

If convicted, the court can impose fines as high as $100,000 for individuals, and directors and officers of a corporation can be fined up to $500,000. 

Both could also receive terms of imprisonment of up to one year with the maximum fine up to $10 million for a corporation on conviction of an offence.