B.C. state of emergency for COVID-19 extended | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. state of emergency for COVID-19 extended

The province has granted police and enforcement officers the power to issue fines of $200 for individuals and up to $2,000 for organizations breaking COVID-19 restrictions.
September 01, 2020 - 4:33 PM

The province is extending extending the state of emergency over COVID-19 to Sept. 15, 2020.

The state of emergency grants the province additional powers to curtail emergencies, including additional enforcement for people who violate provincial health orders, according to B.C. government media release. Two weeks ago, the province granted itself the power to enforce hefty fines.

On Aug. 21, police and other enforcement officers were given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners and organizers who contravene the provincial health officer’s orders on gatherings and events. Individuals can be fined $200 for not following police or enforcement staff at events or for refusing to comply with requests to follow safe operation procedures in restaurants, bars or other establishments.

"It's encouraging to see the vast majority of British Columbians following public health rules to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe," Premier John Horgan said in the release. "However, there remains a small group of people ignoring Dr. Henry's orders and threatening our hard work over the past several months to flatten the curve. This pandemic is not over, and whether it's an end-of-summer gathering or hockey celebration, this is not the time to bend or break the rules. To those few who are not complying, there will be consequences."

Ten violation tickets were issued in the first week since these new enforcement measures were introduced.

The total includes six $2,000 violation tickets for contravening the health officer’s order on gatherings, and four $200 tickets issued to individuals.

"Since we announced the new enforcement measures, we've seen several examples of violation tickets being issued to people breaking the law," Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said in the release.

"It's disappointing to see behaviour that shows a blatant disregard for the safety of citizens. It's time to stop breaking the rules. It's time to do better. It's my hope that these enforcement measures will result in a change in behaviour and fewer violation tickets will be needed in the future," he said.

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