Manitoba is showing it means business with public heath order scofflaws, issuing close to 100 tickets last week alone, totalling $126,082, the province says.
In total, 79 warnings and 95 tickets were issued from Nov. 16 to 22, a significant increase from the week prior, when 54 warnings and 30 tickets were issued for a total of $49,992.
Included in the 95 fines are nine $5,000 tickets to business and 55 tickets for $1,296 each to individuals. Three band bylaw tickets were issued by the Manitoba First Nations Police Service.
So far, 16 tickets have been sworn and more are expected to be handed out to people who took part in a large protest against COVID-19 measures on Nov. 14 in Steinbach.
Officials are also investigating a service two days ago at the Church of God south of Steinbach — a city with a COVID-19 test-positivity rate of 40 per cent, a rate among the highest in North America.
RCMP say more than 100 people attended the service. The minister has been fined $1,296 for holding the service and other fines are expected as the investigation continues, the province said.
The minister was also fined $1,296 for participating in the Steinbach protest.
‘Don’t be the weakest link’
The province went into code red under the provincial pandemic response system on Nov. 12 to slow the surging spread of the virus, but more than 4,700 new cases have emerged since then, and Manitoba has struggled to alleviate the pressure facing hospitals.
“Despite these orders … some Manitobans, unfortunately, and some retailers are going against the spirit of those rules,” Pallister said, adding that’s why the province put even more restrictions into effect last Friday, with gatherings no longer allowed inside homes, and no more sales of non-essential items allowed in stores.
Last week, a new fine of $298 also was put in place for not wearing a mask in indoor public places. Since then, 28 of those tickets have been issued.
Pallister also said one of the 95 tickets issued last week went to the Corona Hotel in Glenella, Man., where the beverage room was open and people were playing pool.
“Guys, don’t do things like that. It’s disheartening,” Pallister said.
The rules to protect people are only strong if everyone adheres to them, he said.
“We must protect each other. Don’t be the weakest link.”
More to come
Read earlier version of this story below:
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is holding a news conference about COVID-19 measures, one day after the province set a sombre milestone with 546 new daily cases — the first single-day tally to top 500.
CBC Manitoba will live stream it here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.
The new cases announced on Monday put the provincial total above 14,000, meaning one in every 100 Manitobans has now contracted the illness.
The majority of the new cases — 368 of them — were in the Winnipeg health region, which is another daily record. The previous high was 330 cases announced on Nov. 7.
Although the province went into code red under the provincial pandemic response system on Nov. 12 to slow the surging spread of the virus, more than 4,700 new cases have emerged since then, and Manitoba has struggled to alleviate the pressure facing hospitals.
It has also faced resistance from some to the public health orders.
A rural Manitoba church minister was handed two fines — each one a $1,296 hit — on Monday night for breaching public health orders limiting gathering sizes.
One came after RCMP said more than 100 people attended a Sunday service at his Church of God south of Steinbach — a city with a COVID-19 test-positivity rate of 40 per cent, a rate among the highest in North America.
The other fine was for attending a protest against COVID-19, along with more than 100 others, on Nov. 14 in Steinbach.