'I'm baffled quite frankly': Iveson reacts to peace officers losing enforcement power
EDMONTON -- Edmonton's mayor said he doesn't know why it's taking so long for the province to renew an act allowing peace officers to enforce provincial public health orders.
The ministerial order was issued on Nov. 27, 2020, and expired last week.
"I am surprised and frustrated that it lapsed," said Iveson during a news conference Wednesday. "We communicated politically and administratively, a desire to see them renewed because the public health situation is as urgent as it was when those measures were put in place."
The order allowed all peace officers, which include Level 1 community peace officers and Level 2 officers employed by Alberta Environment and Parks and Environmental Enforcement Services, to give out tickets to anyone found to be in violation of any of the chief medical officer of health's orders.
Without it, enforcement of the Public Health Act is left solely to Alberta Sheriffs, RCMP and municipal law enforcement agencies.
"It is concerning that it is taking time to renew the ministerial order to delegate clear authority for us to assist the province in enforcing its own rules at this critical time with the new variants and the need to get reopening right," said Iveson. "I'm baffled quite frankly."
In an email to CTV News, the justice minister's press secretary said the province is "in talks" with municipalities to determine whether they need extra resources to enforce the rules.
Peace and bylaw officers are still able to enforce Edmonton's mask mandate.
During the last week of February, nine tickets were issued, bringing the city's total to just over 350 since the bylaw took effect.
With files from CTV Calgary's Michael Franklin and CTV Edmonton's Amanda Anderson