Manitoba church fined $5K for holding service that broke public health order

A rural Manitoba church that held an in-person service last Sunday, which RCMP estimated was attended by well over 100 people, has been fined $5,000 for breaking a provincial public health order.

Tobias Tissen, minister at Church of God, confirmed the organization received a fine of $5,000 Tuesday.

The fines were given after the RCMP were called on Sunday to the church south of Steinbach — a southern Manitoba city that has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

The gathering at the church in the RM of Hanover violated a current Manitoba public health order that bans public gatherings with more than five people, and requires places of worship to close.

Tissen, who himself was slapped with two fines totalling nearly $2,600 for attending a recent protest against COVID-19 restrictions and being at the Sunday religious service, said his church will likely fight the tickets in court.

“That ticket and the whole idea and agenda behind them fining people does not make sense to me, because it goes directly against our constitutional rights,” he said.

More to come