Manitoba hands out the highest number of enforcement fines since start of pandemic

B.C. is in a new and complex phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in which transmission of the virus is primarily in private settings where public health measures are difficult to enforce. In this phase, health officials’ “soft-hands” approach – prioritizing education over enforcement – appears to have little impact.

Manitoba officials handed out 161 enforcement tickets from May 24 to 30 – the highest number of tickets handed out in one week since the start of enforcement efforts.

According to the province’s latest enforcement update, officers handed out 144 tickets for $1,296 related to gatherings; nine tickets for $298 to people not wearing a mask in indoor public places, one $5,000 ticket to a business, and one $5,150 ticket for defying the Federal Quarantine Act. The province noted that officers also issued six warrants to repeat offenders, which has a maximum penalty of $100,000.

This comes to a total of nearly $200,000 in fines and is the highest number of tickets issued in one week.

Over the last few weeks, Manitoba has continued to see an increase in the number of enforcement tickets handed out. From May 17 to 23, officers gave out 102 tickets; from May 10 to 16, they handed out 70; and from May 3 to 9, they issued 60.

Manitoba noted that enforcement officials are also continuing to investigate large gatherings and rallies and more charges are expected.

Since the province started enforcement efforts in April 2020, it has handed out 1,681 tickets, totalling more than $2.3 million in fines. It has also issued more than 4,500 warnings.