B.C. Premier John Horgan and Dr. Bonnie Henry at news conference on arrival of COVID-19 vaccine, Dec. 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Dr. Bonnie Henry at news conference on arrival of COVID-19 vaccine, Dec. 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

Horgan warns B.C. holiday partiers, protesters to sit tight, mask up

COVID-19 fines will be levied, and collection will follow

With strict COVID-19 travel, gathering and event restrictions in place at least until Jan. 8, Premier John Horgan has called on workplace inspectors, community bylaw staff and conservation officers to help police enforce public behaviour through the holiday season.

Horgan appealed directly to enforcement officials Tuesday to help “redouble our efforts” to hold B.C.’s coronavirus infection rate down as vaccine distribution starts.

“Anywhere you have authority over citizens, we’re going to be asking you to work with law enforcement to ensure that our public health orders are in place and being acted upon,” Horgan told reporters Dec. 15. “That means holding rule-breakers accountable. That means ensuring that the fines we levy are collected. Certainly everyone has a right to appeal, everyone has a right to due process, but once that due process has been finalized, if you do not pay the fines, we will send collections after you.”

Fines of up to $2,300 have been assessed to people hosting house parties in defiance of public health orders, and people have rallied against the requirement for masks in indoor public areas and businesses.

RELATED: 60 people in a one-bedroom apartment nets $2,300 fine

RELATED: B.C.’s earliest vaccines go to health care workers first

Horgan said a disturbing increase in COVID-related deaths, with 49 over the past weekend, even as infections have levelled off at 600 to 700 a day, demands more action. He stressed that the vast majority of people are complying with public health restrictions, but the holiday season ahead is crucial.

“This is serious, this is not a lark, this is not something we do lightly,” Horgan said. “Those of us who do not want to obey the rules that the rest of us are following will have to pay the consequences.

“Keep your bubbles very, very tight over the holiday season. Do not interact with people you don’t normally interact with, and of course if you’re in a public place, wear a mask.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kirschner Mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

Fire in shed in alley off Stockwell. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
UPDATE: Smoke seen rising from shed on Stockwell Avenue

Kelowna firefighters are on scene of a home after reports of a blaze

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Penticton paramedics took about 70 per cent more calls for drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019, Interior Health representatives told Penticton council Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. ((Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton seeks $300K grant to help address opioid crisis

The grant would provide $100K a year over three years to a Community Action Team

Most Read