FORT ST. JOHN, BC: Since the enactment of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, enforcement has fallen on the police of various jurisdictions across Canada. In BC, enforcement falls into two basic categories; those pertaining to owners, operators and organizers and those pertaining to individuals. Violation tickets with fines of $2300 can be issued to owners, operators and organizers whereas violation tickets with fines of $230 can be issued to individuals.
Since October 13, 2020, the Fort St. John RCMP has received 17 reports to investigate non-compliance with Public Health Order restrictions relating to lack of physical distancing or lack of wearing a face mask in public.
In most cases, attending frontline officers have been able to discuss the situation and educate the public about expectations and possible consequences. Most situations have been met with cooperative and compliant responses. To date, there have been two instances where violation tickets have been issued.
The first instance was in relation to a Halloween party at a residence with approximately 100 people in attendance, organized in blatant disregard to the public health order limiting group size. The property owner was issued a violation ticket for $2300.00.
The second instant was to an individual on November 25, who had been reported earlier in the day and on a second report was escalating in their negative, belligerent responses to staff at the Cultural Centre and the RCMP, all while not wearing a face covering while indoors. The individual was issued a $230.00 violation ticket and was banned from the property.
The Fort St. John RCMP has always attempted to work with businesses, groups and individuals toward compliance; serving violation tickets is the last option in most circumstances. With more individuals becoming ill and testing positive in the community, the Fort St. John RCMP wish to remind all individuals to continue to comply with physical distancing, wearing a mask at all times when out in public and staying home as much as possible in accordance with the current Public Health Order.
Written and released by Fort St. John RCMP
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