Kelowna church member fined for public health order violation after 2nd gathering | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna church member fined for public health order violation after 2nd gathering

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January 06, 2021 - 10:44 AM

Two strikes against B.C.'s public health orders have left RCMP no other choice but to give a Kelowna church representative a hefty fine.

On the morning of Dec. 19, 2020, Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a large religious gathering at a place of worship that had already been spoken to in the wake of a Dec. 6, 2020 gathering.

The first time Mounties went to the place of worship in the 1600 block of Harvey Avenue in Kelowna, Mounties took an educational approach regarding the current COVID-19 health regulations in an attempt to attain compliance from the congregation.

This time, however, a representative of the congregation was issued a violation ticket in the amount of $2,300 for failure to comply with an order of a Health Officer.

"We want to acknowledge the vast majority of our community who are complying with the public health orders.  This has been a challenging year, however now is not the time to gather," Supt. Kara Triance said in a press release issued Jan. 6.

"We will continue to work with our partners with the provincial health authorities and BC Prosecution Service as we actively investigate and take necessary enforcement action on reports of non-compliance with the provincial health orders."

Between Aug. 21, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021, 574 violation tickets were issued across B.C., including 103, $2,300 tickets to owners or organizers contravening the Provincial Health Officers order on gatherings and events.

There have been 21, $2,300 violation tickets issued for contravention of the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order and 450, $230 tickets issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement.

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. The purpose of the Quarantine Act is to protect public health by taking comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases.

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