Stiff fine for anti-mask protest organizer in Salmon Arm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Stiff fine for anti-mask protest organizer in Salmon Arm

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November 30, 2020 - 3:17 PM

The organizer of a protest against the current COVID-19 public health measures in Salmon Arm this past weekend is facing a big fine.

Salmon Arm RCMP were on the scene of the protest to monitor and educate members of the public who may not be following the safety measures, according to an RCMP media release.

Some people were not socially distanced or wearing masks while in close proximity to one another, and police informed those in attendance this type of gathering was prohibited under the current public health order. 

RCMP reported that some people seemed to be unaware of the rules on gatherings, and officers had a number of respectful and informative interactions with some of the 75 people in attendance. Some left the area and there were no tickets served to the persons who attended the protest.

The organizer approached officers, who attempted have a conversation with him to inform him of his legal jeopardy. RCMP said the man was "less than engaging but still respectful" and was served a violation ticket under the COVID Measures Act for organizing the event.

The fine was $2,000 plus a B.C. Victim Surcharge Levy of $300 for a total of $2,300.

Salmon Arm RCMP are also asking the public to respect their local retailers following reports of ridicule and abuse from businesses enforcing the mandatory mask policy. 

"Businesses have the responsibility due to the recent public health order to ask their patrons to wear face coverings or non-medical masks while on premises and to refuse service for non-compliance,"Salmon Arm RCMP Sgt. Scott West said in the release. "Individuals have the right not to attend the business if they decide not to wear a protective mask."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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