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Ottawa Coffee Shop Company Fined $60,000 for Failing to Comply with Orders

Court Bulletin

Ottawa Coffee Shop Company Fined $60,000 for Failing to Comply with Orders

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: Gaia Java Coffee Company Ltd., 267 Cayman Road, Stittsville, Ontario.

Location of Workplace: Stittsville (southwest Ottawa), Ontario.

Description of Offence: After several visits by an inspector and a corporate name change, a coffee shop operator failed to comply with four inspector's orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Failure to comply with an inspector's order is an offence under the act.

Date of Offence: Between January 20, 2017, and April 24, 2017

Date of Conviction: May 31, 2018.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a trial, the defendant was convicted on all four counts and a fine of $15,000 per count was imposed for a total of $60,000 by Justice of the Peace Terry B. Pasch in Ottawa court; Crown Counsel Evan Schiller.
  • The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Background:

  • On March 26, 2016, in response to an incident, a ministry inspector visited the coffee shop at 1300 Main St., Stittsville.
  • The inspector issued 15 orders, and in April 2016, sent a package of small business tools and resources via email to one of the company's directors to assist with compliance.
  • Through the inspector's follow-up visits in May, September, October and December 2016, the company had not fully complied.
  • The company operating the coffee shop then changed to Gaia Java Coffee Company Ltd., but had the same directors.
  • The inspector returned to the coffee shop to re-issue the outstanding orders against the new corporate defendant. The orders were required to be complied with by January 20, 2017.
  • The orders were not complied with by the inspector's final visit on April 24, 2017. They included requirements to:

  1. post a copy of the employer's occupational health and safety policy in the workplace;
  2. conduct a workplace violence risk assessment;
  3. ensure that all workers complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program; and
  4. ensure that all supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.

  • As of April 2018, the coffee shop is no longer operating. However, the defendant remains an active corporation.

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