Former Stittsville coffee shop owner hit with large bill for labour code violations

By Mike Vlasveld

The owner of a closed Stittsville coffee shop is expected to pay $60,000 in provincial fines related to health and safety orders issued more than a year ago, as they were never complied with.

An inspector from Ontario's Ministry of Labour first visited the business at 1300 Main St. back in March of 2016, issuing 15 orders.

There were follow-up visits in May, September, October and December of that same year, but the inspector was still not satisfied that the company had fully complied.

The coffee shop then changed its name to Gaia Java Coffee Company Ltd. That's when the inspector returned to re-issue four outstanding orders, and told the owners they needed to comply by January 20, 2017.

Those orders included posting a copy of the employer's occupational health and safety policy in the workplace, conducting a workplace violence risk assessment, ensuring that all workers complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program, and ensuring that all supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.

In April of 2017, the orders were still not complied with and the owners ended up in court.

The coffee shop shut down in April of this year, however the province said the defendant remained an active corporation.

Following a trial which wrapped up at the end of May, the defendant was convicted on all four counts and a fine of $15,000 per count was imposed by Justice of the Peace Terry B. Pasch in Ottawa court.

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