VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s public safety minister says the province is working on making sure people who are flouting COVID-19 rules are held accountable.
Mike Farnworth says additional measures will be introduced this legislative session to make sure people are paying what they owe.
“To ensure that those individuals who have received a ticket will have to pay those fines,” Farnworth said Tuesday.
“The reality is we live in a democracy, and people do have the ability and the right to dispute a ticket. And that is what is happening. At the same time, when they don’t dispute a ticket, they are then deemed to be guilty. That is sent to a collection agency,” he explained.
Farnworth insists COVID-19 rule breakers are being held accountable for their actions, and that more than 1,700 tickets have been issued so far.
“They range from the $230 up to the new $575 and the $2,300 tickets. As well, there have been cases where people are facing additional charges — long-form charges — that can result in significant fines of up to $10,000 and one year in jail,” he said.
In March, B.C. announced it was increasing some fines for people who continue to attend large gatherings, despite public health orders prohibiting them.
The changed bumped up fines for those who attend parties or other non-compliant gatherings from $230 up to $575, with the province saying at the time that the previous amount wasn’t enough to deter people from breaking the rules.
-With files from Kier Junos