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

Just Posted

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Tempertures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

It's believed the Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Sunday night. (Aileen Mascasaet Maningas)
UDPATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Tony Costa/ Facebook
UPDATE: Out-of-control fire burning above Peachland

The blaze sparked on Sunday and is believed to be lightning caused

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Most Read