British Columbia

2 U.S. boaters in B.C. waters fined under Quarantine Act

The RCMP says two U.S. boaters have been fined after officers with its Pacific Shiprider program located them in Canadian waters, allegedly in contravention of the Quarantine Act.

One case involved a person claiming to be en route to Alaska, another was a whale watching vessel

An RCMP vessel is seen in this file photo from 2015. According to B.C. RCMP, two U.S. boaters have been fined under the Quarantine Act for allegedly being in Canadian waters illegally. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

The RCMP says two U.S. boaters have been fined after officers with its Pacific Shiprider program located them in Canadian waters, allegedly in contravention of the Quarantine Act.

The first case involved a boater on July 10 who, according to RCMP, claimed to be heading to Alaska. The police allege the person had entered Canada for the purpose of tourism.

According to a statement released by B.C. RCMP's Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit, the person was fined $1,000 under Section 58 of the Quarantine Act.

"Boaters are not allowed within Canadian territorial or boundary waters for discretionary, leisure (non-essential) reasons, including touring, sightseeing and pleasure fishing," the statement read.

A second fine was issued July 17, after police found a U.S. whale watching operator and his passengers in Canadian waters. The alleged offence was the same as the July 10 case.

"Boaters found illegally within Canadian waters may face severe penalties, including fines, seizure of their vessels and/or criminal charges," said the statement. 

Quarantine Act offences could result in six months in prison and up to $750,000 in fines. Anyone who causes a risk of imminent death or serious injury to someone else while willfully or recklessly contravening the Quarantine Act could face more serious consequences — up to $1,000,000 in fines and three years in prison.

The Canada-U.S. border is closed to all non-essential travel, an agreement that has been extended until August 21.

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