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Tri-County Vanguard - 2021-11-24

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Increased fines for violations

‘IT WAS A HIT’

Individuals and organizations hosting events or gatherings that ignore public health orders are now subject to higher penalties under the Health Protection Act. “This is a new category of offence that will hold organizers directly responsible for contravening the act and putting themselves and others in danger,” the province said in a Nov. 18 media release. Fines will start at the highest maximum penalty under the act of $2,422 for a first offence and increase to $11,622 for individuals who either organize or attend an illegal gathering. Organizations will be fined the highest maximum penalty under the act of $11,622 for a first offence and $57,622 for the second and each subsequent offence. Individuals can also face jail time. The new fines became effective immediately. "I don't want any more loved ones being lost due to this type of reckless behaviour and the fines that were in place were not enough to discourage it," said Premier Tim Houston. "My hope is that by substantially increasing fines and increasing enforcement we can save lives." Police and provincial inspectors are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act. The fines were last increased in April. More than 1,375 summary offence tickets have been issued under the Health Protection and Emergency Management acts since the provincial state of emergency was declared. Fines issued under the Health Protection Act total $1.7 million.

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