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POWERS OF MUNICIPALITY - Regulation of property and activities - Safety

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 @ 7:54 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Trial of the defendant tenant charged with failing to comply with a fire safety inspection order. The emergency exit door in issue was in a building used for the tenant’s flea market. After a fire safety inspection by a Fire Prevention Officer, she issued an order requiring the defendant to remove additional locks and latches that had been installed on all emergency exit doors. By trial, the officer testified that one emergency door continued to have additional locks in contravention of her order. The door contained a push bar mechanism and a slide bolt latch. The tenant’s principal testified he believed they complied as a second latch had been removed from the door. Charges against the building owner were dismissed due to an omission of a reference to the application of the Ontario Building Code in the information.

HELD: The defendant was convicted. Utilizing a broad and purposive approach, section of the Ontario Fire Code applied to the emergency exit door. The Ontario Building Code did not have exclusive jurisdiction in respect to the regulation of exit doors in a building. Since the door contained both a slide bolt latch and a push bar mechanism after the compliance date, the door was in violation of the inspection order. The tenant failed to comply with the order when it did not remove the additional lock or latch from the door. The tenant did not take all reasonable steps in the circumstances to avoid committing the offence and did not exercise due diligence. The claim the inspection order was vague did not have an air of reality. The defendant had knowledge of the order and knew what needed to be done to remedy the Fire Code violations.

Brampton (City) v. 1385127 Ontario Inc. (c.o.b. 747 Flea Market), [2019] O.J. No. 1719, Ontario Court of Justice, R. Quon J.P., April 3, 2019. Digest No. TLD-May62019009