British Columbia

2 Richmond, B.C. karaoke parties fined $17K under COVID-19 rules, police say

Police in Richmond, B.C. say they fined organizers and people who attended two karaoke gatherings on Feb. 13 and 14 for violating COVID-19 rules.

Police say fines at 4 gatherings over the past 2 weeks total more than $30,000

Richmond RCMP have handed out more than $30,000 in fines after discovering four parties over two weekends in a row where people were allegedly breaking COVID-19 rules. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The sound of singing coming from a commercial business at 2 a.m. Sunday in Richmond, B.C. led police to discover 21 people gathered at what they say was an "unlicensed liquor establishment."

They then handed out $7,130 in fines.

The Feb. 14 event was the fourth illegal gathering over the last two weekends where Richmond RCMP issued fines. 

The night before, officers had fined 34 people including staff and patrons at a karaoke bar near Aberdeen Square.  An organizer was issued a $2,300 ticket under the province's COVID-19 rules for a total of $10,120 in fines.

Richmond RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Ian Henderson said the gatherings are also under investigation for possible violations of business and liquor license rules.

The weekend before, police handed out $16,000 in fines after busting two parties taking place in contravention of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act. 

Henderson said some people are still not getting the message to follow regulations aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

"People who continue to engage in this type of reckless, irresponsible behaviour will be held to account," said Henderson.

Richmond RCMP are urging anyone with information about similar events to contact them.