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B.C. issues 10 COVID-19 fines in first week of enforcement

Last Updated Sep 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm PST

FILE -- Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the Community Safety Act will make it easier for neighbours to report a drug lab or other nuisance buildings. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms)

Ten COVID-19 enforcement fines were issued between Aug. 21 to Aug. 28

B.C.'s public safety minister says he hopes stronger enforcement will encourage people to follow public health orders

B.C. has extended its state of emergency for another two weeks

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s public safety minister has provided an update on the stepped-up enforcement of COVID-19 rules in the province.

In the first week fines were introduced, Mike Farnworth says 10 violation tickets were issued between Aug. 21 to Aug 28, including six $2,000 fines against party organizers and fines for four individuals worth $200 each.

Farnworth says he hopes stronger enforcement measures will make more people follow public health orders.

“It’s disappointing to see behaviour that shows a blatant disregard for the safety of citizens. It’s time to stop breaking the rules,” he said in a release. “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.”

Organizers of parties and events that violate public health orders can be fined $2,000.

Individuals can be fined $200 for disobeying the province’s COVID-19 rules, actively encourging events that break those orders, and refusing to disperse when instructed to do so.

RELATED: Vancouver launches online reporting tool for COVID-19 violations

A party host in Victoria was fined at the end of August for violating coronavirus health orders. Police ended up at the same apartment for a second the same weekend, again issuing fines.

A Richmond sports centre was also fined last month for not complying with physical distancing orders. Four businesses in Surrey were slapped with fines too for repeated violations of COVID-19 health orders.

Meanwhile, B.C. has extended its state of emergency for another two weeks. It’s been in effect since Mar. 18.