The BC government announced on Tuesday that it had given out over $470,000 in COVID-19 fines to British Columbians not following government-mandated orders.
In a statement, the BC Government stated that between August 21, 2020, and January 1, 2021, 574 violation tickets were issued, including 103 $2,300 tickets to owners or organizers contravening the PHO’s order on gatherings and events, 21 $2,300 violation tickets for contravention of the PHO Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order, and 450 $230 tickets issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement.
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Additionally, since the pandemic began, police agencies in British Columbia have issued 77 violation tickets to individuals who were in contravention of the federal Quarantine Act, totalling $84,266.25.
On December 16, the Province announced enhanced enforcement measures to keep British Columbians safe and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. This included strengthening COVID-19 fine-collection measures and asking provincial enforcement officers to actively support police and increase enforcement by issuing violation tickets as appropriate during their normal course of duties or when in public places.
“Most British Columbians are following public health orders, and that’s what will help us get case numbers back down,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Having said that, we’re continuing to use enforcement and fines for those who insist on putting lives at risk by ignoring orders.”
The BC Government also announced it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency that has been in effect since mid-March.
The state of emergency is now extended through the end of the day on January 19, 2021.
The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from BC’s health and emergency management officials. The original declaration was made on March 18, 2020, the day after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency.