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Two women arrested, fined at Nanaimo ferry terminal for refusing to wear masks

FILE - Packages of face masks. (CITYNEWS/Tony Fera)

Two women 'causing a disturbance' and being 'abusive' toward ferry staff, officers fined, arrested in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP says two women were intoxicated and refusing to wear masks on Sunday at ferry terminal

19-year-old, 43-year-old handed fines totalling $460 each for refusing to wear masks, belligerent behaviour, RCMP says

NANAIMO (NEWS 1130) – Two women fuelled by alcohol and refusing to put on masks now have some fines to pay after they were arrested at the BC Ferry terminal in Nanaimo on Sunday.

According to the Nanaimo RCMP, a 19-year-old woman from Nanaimo and a 43-year-old woman from the Okanagan area had been abusive towards staff and police when officers arrived on scene.

“They continued with their abusive behaviour towards us,” explained Constable Gary O’Brien. “They were both immediately arrested for causing a disturbance and mischief aboard the ferry. They had a lot of liquor on board, they were impaired by alcohol.”

They were taken to cells to sober up.

“When sober, they were served with tickets under the COVID Measures Act. One for refusing to wear a face mask, the other for abusive, belligerent behaviour. Each person received $460 in fines and they are very lucky, very lucky, that they were not charged criminally for their behaviour,” O’Brien told NEWS 1130.

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He says police get anti-mask calls every week, but they generally don’t escalate to a point like this.

“And generally what occurs is a business will call us, somebody’s being abusive, they’re refusing to wear a mask. As soon as we arrive, behaviour changes, they either leave the store or put their mask on and it doesn’t go any further,” he explained.

Masks are mandated in all indoor public spaces under a provincial health order.