Kelowna's top cops says call 911 for COVID-19 health order violations | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's top cops says call 911 for COVID-19 health order violations

February 23, 2021 - 7:30 AM

Kelowna’s top cop is encouraging people to call police on those not following provincial health orders aimed at combating COVID-19.

RCMP Supt. Kara Triance made those comments in response to a question from Coun. Brad Sieben in regards to people who go into a business to make political statements by not following the rules.

“Any time a crime is in progress or there is somebody who’s life or limb is at risk, by all means we want the public to call 911,” Triance said during her crime update to Kelowna City Council today, Feb. 22.

“In cases where lives are being put at risk, where individuals are maybe not wearing a mask or breaching any sort of public health order, particularly given that we are fighting a global pandemic right now, this is the time to call the police,” she said. “We will respond and be there to be able to take enforcement action.”

When it comes to large groups violating health care orders – as they do every Saturday at a rally across from Kelowna City Hall – the RCMP has, so far, been taking the approach of ticketing the organizer.

“There is a manageable amount of risk we can assume as we take enforcement actions and, in this case, we have chosen to focus our efforts on those of highest jeopardy and that is the organizers of the events,” Triance said.

“When we can, we lay a violation ticket and where the matter is so egregious that we are no longer able to respond through the repeated laying of violation tickets, we bring those matters to the B.C. Prosecution Service through way of a long form information. That’s a report to Crown Counsel that allows them to review the entirety of the situation – perhaps that’s several violation tickets that have been laid – and then make a decision on, perhaps, taking a more stringent and serious approach to enforcement.

“Should the B.C. Prosecution Service come back and offer that they will not be charging and taking the more serious route, we can, at that point, still take an enforcement action by laying a violation ticket. We have up to a year to enforce the offence.”

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