British Columbia

COVID-19 rule breakers rack up almost $500K in fines in B.C.

Officials have issued 124 $2,300 violation tickets to businesses and party hosts since the pandemic began.

A total of 124 $2,300 violation tickets have been issued, along with hundreds of lesser fines

A member of Surrey's COVID-19 Compliance Enforcement Team speaks with a group of seniors about physical distancing rules at Bear Creek Park in Surrey, B.C. (Chris Corday/CBC)

Businesses and individuals who flout provincial and federal COVID-19 orders have been dinged almost half a million dollars cumulatively in violation tickets since the pandemic began, according to the B.C. government.

The breakdown of the fines is as follows:

  • 103 $2,300 tickets issued to owners or organizers contravening Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's order on gatherings and events.
  • 21 $2,300 tickets issued for contravention of the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order, also introduced by Dr. Henry.
  • 450 $230 tickets issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement.
  • 77 violation tickets totalling $84,266.25 issued to individuals found to be in contravention of the federal Quarantine Act.

The numbers were released Tuesday when the province formally extended the provincial state of emergency through to Jan. 19, 2021.

Extending the state of emergency gives health and emergency management officials continuing extraordinary power to respond to the pandemic.

The provincial COVID-19 Related Measures Act, which came into effect July 10,  bans social gatherings of any size inside residences but allows people who live alone to host two people with whom they regularly socialize.

In B.C., at least two individuals have been arrested and held in custody for breaking COVID-19-related orders.

A Vancouver man spent Christmas in jail after repeatedly ignoring police warnings about holding parties in his downtown apartment.

And a New Westminster COVID-19 conspiracy theorist was sent to jail for repeatedly ignoring mandatory quarantine laws after returning from a Flat Earth conference in the U.S.

On Wednesday, Kelowna RCMP said they had issued a $2,300 violation ticket to a representative of a religious congregation for a large gathering held on Dec. 19.

Police had previously informed and warned the group attending worship in the 1600-block of Harvey Avenue on Dec. 6 about COVID-19 health regulations. 

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