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$2,300 fine for Vancouver gender reveal party host defying COVID-19 rules

Last Updated Mar 1, 2021 at 12:18 am PDT

(Courtesy Mack Male, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Police say 17 people gathered in a suite near Robson and Hamilton for a gender reveal party

The host of the gathering was fined $2,300 and the party was 'shut down'

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.