B.C. clamps down on COVID-19 enforcement with fines for large party hosts

VANCOUVER — Property owners and organizers can be fined $2,000 for hosting events in violation of public health orders in British Columbia under stronger penalties announced today.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the fines include hosting a gathering in excess of 50 people, failing to keep the contact information of everyone who attends an event, or inviting more than five guests into a vacation rental property.

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He says a party with fewer than 50 people is not necessarily legal since all other public health measures must still be followed.

He says guests may also face $200 tickets for their behaviour including if they refuse to leave when directed or disregard COVID-19 safety plans at restaurants and other businesses.

The province is enlisting liquor, cannabis and gaming inspectors, as well as conservation officers, to help issue the tickets for the duration of the pandemic.

Farnworth says the stronger enforcement actions are being taken because the behaviour of a small minority of "selfish individuals" across B.C. is putting vulnerable people at risk.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2020.

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