Repeated violations of Manitoba COVID-19 health orders will bring increased fines

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister took aim on Friday at those who rebuff Manitoba's COVID-19 public health orders.

Individual fines going up for repeat individual offenders, include those who don't wear masks

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says seeing others disobeying the rules is an insult to the people who are doing the right things. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister took aim on Friday at those who rebuff Manitoba's COVID-19 public health orders.

After admonishing people who refuse to abide by the rules — and those who are antagonistic toward public health enforcement officers — he said fines for repeat offenders would double.

"The vast majority of Manitobans are following the fundamentals, they are following the rules. I say thank you for doing that and please keep doing that," Pallister said.

"But there is a small, selfish minority of people that aren't doing their part. And in doing so, they're putting the health of themselves and others at risk."

He called it an insult, to the people who are doing the right things, to see others disobeying the rules.

Pallister also announced a doubling of the default payment fee for those who fail to pay fines on time.

According to recent data, about 90 per cent of the money from pandemic-related fines in Manitoba has yet to be paid.

Pallister promised that would be taken care of through some stringent measures.

"I'm saying to those folks, you will pay your fine. And if you do not, you will not be driving your car. We will not issue you a driver's licence. You can put your car up on blocks and you can leave it there until you pay your fine," he said.

"And if you don't drive, we will garnish your wages. You will pay.

"It's important for you to understand this clearly. Your behaviour is a danger to you but it's more importantly a danger to other people."

Pallister urged people to keep the rules in mind this Mother's Day weekend. That includes no visiting anyone at their private residence.

"Give your mother flowers, not COVID," he said.


  • An earlier version of this story, based on comments made Friday by Premier Brian Pallister, indicated fines for individuals and businesses who repeatedly break public health orders would double. On Saturday, the provincial government clarified fine amounts would rise to $486 for people who have have received two or more tickets for not wearing a mask (up from $298) and $2,542 for those who have received two or more tickets for other offences (up from $1,296). There is no change to fines for businesses, the province clarified Saturday.
    May 08, 2021 2:02 PM CT


Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, at the Regina Leader-Post then the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He has been with CBC Manitoba since 2009 and specializes in offbeat and local history stories. He is the author of award-nominated and bestselling The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent.