Province hikes fines to further enforce COVID-19 public safety
Fines for promoting and attending gatherings that contravene the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order just got more expensive.
Effective immediately, an amendment to the Violation Ticket Administration and Fine Regulation raises the fine for promoting and for attending a non-compliant gathering or event from $230 to $575. The current fine for those who organize or host a prohibited event remains the same at $2,300.
“Over the last several months, it’s become clear that for some, the risk of a $230 violation ticket isn’t enough to deter attendance at events that violate the PHO order,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “I am disappointed that a small minority of British Columbians continue to put their health and the health of others at risk by attending unsafe gatherings. This selfish behaviour needs to stop, and police and provincial enforcement authorities will be able to issue these new fines immediately.”
A $230 fine will continue to apply to a range of COVID-19 violation measures, including failing to wear a mask and failing to abide by patron conditions. The increased fine aimed at non-compliant events reflects that this behaviour is generally more risky than other offences in the $230 category, but less egregious than the offences in the $2,300 category.
The specifics around orders of the provincial health officer, including the number of people allowed at gatherings, will continue to be set at the direction of the PHO.
- Since the declaration of a State of Provincial Emergency under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) on March 18, 2020, a number of ministerial orders have been issued to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Protective Measures (COVID-19) Order was issued Jan. 8, 2021.
- To report concerns about violations by event organizers, venues or individuals, contact your local government’s bylaw office or your local police department’s non-emergency line.
More information on types of provincial tickets and fine amounts is available here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/violation-tickets
On Dec. 16, 2020, enforcement measures were expanded.
Details are available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0108-002083
On Nov. 24, 2020, a mask enforcement order was introduced under the EPA, requiring masks for people over the age of 12 in public indoor settings, unless they are exempt. Details are available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0061-001960
For information on all recent orders and guidance, as well as general COVID-19 information for all British Columbians, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
For more information and latest medical updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC
Or visit the centre‘s website: http://www.bccdc.ca/
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