Manitoba issues nearly $100K in COVID-19 enforcement fines in one week

Manitoba enforcement officers issued nearly $100,000 in fines in the span of one week for defying the public health orders, including 53 tickets to people attending gatherings.

According to Manitoba’s latest enforcement update for May 10 to 16, officers handed out 70 tickets during this period. This includes 62 tickets for $1,296 for various offences, five tickets for $298 for failure to wear a mask in a public place, and three tickets for $5,000 to businesses.

The province noted that 53 of the $1,296 tickets were for gatherings, six were for failure to self-isolate, two went to sole proprietorships, and one was for unnecessary northern travel.

The three businesses fined $5,000, which are all in Winnipeg, include Asmara Café, Chalet Hotel, and Toad in the Hole. CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to the businesses for comment.

Since enforcement efforts began, Manitoba has handed out 1,424 tickets, coming to $1.9 million in fines.

GATHERINGS

Officials with Manitoba Justice are investigating all large gatherings and rallies they are aware of, reporting that 22 of the $1,296 tickers were issued in connection with rallies. This includes two tickets from a rally in Winkler on May 1, six tickets from a rally at The Forks on May 1, and 14 tickets from the Law Courts rally on May 3.

Officials expect more fines will be issued as they continue to investigate.

TRAVEL

The province is advising that security personnel from Commissionaires Manitoba are greeting all travellers arriving at the Winnipeg International Airport to inform them of the self-isolation requirements, give out public health materials, and answer any questions.

Public health officials will also be following up with people to ensure they are adhering to the self-isolation requirements.

CALLS TO 311 NEARLY DOUBLED SINCE APRIL

Calls to 311 about COVID-19 health order compliance and enforcement nearly doubled since April.

A spokesperson for the City of Winnipeg said 311 has been taking calls for complaints about compliance and enforcement since April 2020.

So far in May, the city has received 1,168 calls to 311 about compliance and enforcement. This is the highest number of calls per month it has received during the pandemic.

  Calls to 311 about health order enforcement and compliance
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UNPAID TICKETS

The province is reminding Manitobans that unpaid fines for Public Health Act offences go through the provincial offences court. If someone does not respond to the ticket during the response period, which is indicated on the ticket, they will be default convicted and given a $100 default conviction penalty.

Manitoba adds that in these situations, the person also won’t be able to renew their driver’s licence or vehicle registration until the fine is paid. Unpaid fines are also sent to a collections agency for further collection action.

-with files from CTV's Danny Halmarson