B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: B.C. imposes $2,000 fines for uncontrolled party organizers

Participants who break rules can get a $200 ticket

The B.C. government is empowering police and other enforcement staff to impose fines of up to $2,000 for people who host or organize parties in violation of COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the new fine authority Aug. 21, after the province’s coronavirus infection rate jumped in recent weeks to as many as 100 cases a day. Public health officials say the majority of the new cases have been identified through contact tracing after summer parties and gatherings.

Owners and organizers can be fined for having more than five guests at a vacation rental, or failing to keep a contact list of people who have attended. For public gatherings, witnesses are advised to contact their local government bylaw office, or the local police non-emergency line to report violations.

“Just because your party has less than 50 people does not make it legal,” Farnworth said.

Fines of $200 will be imposed on people who are not hosts or organizers but encourage people to violate public health orders, or are abusive to people attempting to follow physical distance rules. In addition to police, conservation officers, liquor and cannabis inspectors, bylaw officers and WorkSafeBC inspectors are empowered to issue tickets.

“Don’t yell at the waiter who asks you not to push your tables together at a restaurant,” Farnworth said. Enforcement will target “large house parties, unsanctioned events on our streets, on our beaches. Enough is enough.”

RELATED: B.C. reaches 200 deaths, 80 new cases on Thursday

RELATED: Airbnb bans house parties at its rentals world-wide

Farnworth emphasized that the enforcement is aimed at a small minority of people who put others at risk.

“If violation tickets do not act as a deterrent, or in cases of particularly egregious contraventions or for repeat offences, police can recommend charges in relation to the offence,” the ministry said in a statement. “On conviction, judicial penalties of up to $10,000 may be levied.”

The measure was endorsed by B.C.’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees, after public health restrictions were eased this summer to allow pubs and restaurants to operate with space restrictions.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quesnel’s Jack Henderson makes the jump to the BCHL

The 18-year-old has signed with the Merritt Centennials

No reported COVID-19 transmission in B.C.’s tree planting spring/summer effort

With the fall season winding up mid-October, it is hoped that trend will continue

LETTER: West Quesnel apartment building tenant thanks everyone who helped after fire

Scott Jones is one of the tenants who was evacuated after a Sept. 12 fire

Northern Development launches new community development programs

The new programs are part of the launch of Trust 2020

Quesnel Lions Club’s fundraising takes pandemic hit

Club president Brent Oxenbury says their annual fundraising draw sales are drastically down in 2020

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read