VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The host of a gender reveal party at a downtown Vancouver apartment was slapped with a $2,300 fine Saturday evening.
According to police, they found 17 people had gathered in the suite near Robson and Hamilton when they showed up around 8:15 p.m.
“It shows terrible judgment and consideration for the community. Everyone knows the rules by now, and while we appreciate these folks wanted to share a momentous occasion with friends, there are more responsible ways to do it,” writes Sgt. Steve Addison in an email.
“It was a beautiful day yesterday. They could have gone outside, been socially distanced, and marked the occasion in a much safer way.”
Under the current Provincial Health Order, gatherings with people outside of one’s immediate household are banned. Hosts can be fined $2,300 while guests can be given a $230 ticket.
Both Premier John Horgan and Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth have said there are no plans to increase fines in the province.
Last month, Farnworth pointed to a section of the itrder that does allow for stricter penalties.
“If violation tickets do not act as a deterrent, or in cases of particularly egregious contraventions, or for repeat offenders, police can recommend charges in relation to the offence. On conviction, judicial penalties of up to $10,000 and/or one year in prison may be imposed,” it reads.
But Farnworth said those cases would have to wind their way through the courts.
“There’s also a balance between what can be levied and achieved reasonably quickly, and other fines, which can have the impact of causing a considerable delay.”
As of Feb 9, over $352,000 in COVID fines had been handed out in B.C., but only a small percentage had been paid.