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

Photo: Trail Times
Trail property taxes will go up 3.99 per cent in 2021

Trail council kept the 2020 property tax rate at 0 % over the previous year

Edna Whiteley in 2016. “Her whole life has been happy and about helping others,” says her nephew Bob Steed. Photo: Submitted
Nelson’s ‘little firecracker’ Edna Whiteley turns 100

Whiteley is known as a welcoming ambassador for new arrivals in the city

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

An animal carrier full of bullet holes and containing a dead animal was found near Castlegar. Photo: Colleen Schwartz
Castlegar woman finds dead animal inside carrier riddled with bullet holes

The remains were discovered near Syringa Creek Provincial Park

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Most Read