Manitoba church faces up to $1 million fine for repeatedly defying public health orders

The Church of God Restoration near Steinbach, Man., is pictured on November 23, 2020. (CTV News Photo Touria Izri)

A church near Steinbach, Man., is facing up to $1 million in fines for repeated violations of the province’s public health orders.

According to Manitoba’s enforcement update for May 31 to June 6, enforcement officers have sworn an information under the legislation to the Church of God Restoration in the RM of Hanover. The courts will determine the fine amount, with a maximum penalty of $1 million.

CTV News Winnipeg has previously reported that the church has been fined a number of other times for breaking public health orders.

The enforcement update also shows that officers handed out 131 tickets during this week to Manitobans for breaking the rules. This includes 124 tickets for $1,296 to individuals for various offences; five tickets for $298 to people not wearing masks in indoor public places; and one $5,000 ticket to a business.

This comes to a total of $167,194 in fines.

The province notes that 116 of the $1,296 tickets were in relation to gatherings, adding that gatherings at private residences are an issue and will continue to be a focus of enforcement in the coming weeks.

Officials also are still investigating several large gatherings and rallies and additional charges are expected.

Since Manitoba began its enforcement efforts in April 2020, it has handed out 1,812 tickets, coming to more than $2.4 million in fines.

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to the Church of God for comment.

- With files from CTV’s Touria Izri.