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HomeNewsProvince introduces new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety

Province introduces new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety

Police and other provincial enforcement officers will now have the authority to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s order on gatherings and events.

In addition, they will also be able to issue $200 violation tickets to individuals not following the direction of police or enforcement staff at events or who refuse to comply with safe operating procedures, or respond with abusive behavior.

These new measures are under the provincial state of emergency.

“These orders will help us put a stop to the selfish acts of a small minority of British Columbians, who are threatening to erode the progress our province has made in controlling COVID-19,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“While I’m disappointed these measures are now necessary, I am taking this action to give police agencies and provincial enforcement officers the ability to take action against those who are putting people’s lives at risk.”

The Province is enlisting compliance and enforcement staff to support enforcement and help issue tickets for the duration of the pandemic.

This includes liquor, cannabis and gaming inspectors, community safety unit inspectors and conservation officers.

The enforcement focus will be on $2,000 fines to owners, operators, and organizers for contraventions of orders on gatherings and events.

This includes hosting a private party or public event in excess of 50 people, failing to provide appropriate hand sanitation and washroom facilities, failing to provide sufficient space in the venue for physical distancing, failing to obtain a list of names and contacts at a large event or having more than five guests gathered in vacation accommodations.

When required, police and other provincial enforcement officers will also be able to actively enforce the order and ticket a series of other infractions, including:

  • $200 violation tickets for individuals who actively encourage others to attend gatherings or events that do not comply with established requirements, or refuse to leave or disperse when directed to do so by enforcement officers; and,
  • $200 violation tickets for individuals who refuse to comply with requests to follow the PHO order or safe operating procedures of a restaurant, bar, or another licensed establishment or respond with abusive behaviour towards employees.
  • Violation tickets expand the Province’s enforcement toolkit to support the COVID-19 response. Police and other provincial enforcement officers will independently exercise discretion to issue tickets for Emergency Program Act order violations under the Offence Act’s Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation.

If violation tickets do not act as a deterrent, police can recommend charges in relation to the offense.

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