Fine issued to Kelowna church leader for contravening public health order | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fine issued to Kelowna church leader for contravening public health order

A protest against health orders stopping church gatherings was held in Kelowna, March 14, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Art Lucier
May 25, 2021 - 3:59 PM

A Kelowna church was hit with a $2,300 fine last week for a gathering held in contravention of the current Public Health Order.

Kelowna Mounties received a report on May 19 just before 7:40 p.m., that a church was allegedly having a gathering indoors contrary to the Provincial Public Health Order. Police attended, conducted an independent investigation and determined that a number of people were on site.

Police spoke with a representative of the church, explained the current COVID-19 regulations and restrictions and the consequences for failing to abide by the Public Health Order.

Police ultimately issued a violation ticket under the Emergency Program Act for allegedly organizing or hosting a non-compliant event, which carries a fine amount of $2,300.

“We all have an important role to play during this public health emergency. Public safety is a priority for the RCMP and we urge citizens to adhere to the orders to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of virus transmission,” Supt. Kara Triance, Officer in Charge of the Kelowna Regional RCMP Detachment, said in a press release.

“While we certainly can, and will enforce the provisions under the Emergency Program Act, we continue to encourage everyone to voluntarily comply with the provincial health orders, to keep our community safe.” 

The local church that's been most vocal about its opposition to restrictions against public gatherings is the Harvest Ministries. Its apostolic overseer, Art Lucier, said in a social media post that he has, to date, received six fines of this amount for gatherings. His latest, according to the post, was May 20.

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