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Manitoba’s enforcement officers issued nearly $77,000 in fines to individuals and businesses for defying public health orders last week, bring the total fines issued since April 2020 across the $1 million mark.

From Jan. 4 to 10, officers ticketed six businesses as well as 42 individuals, for a total of $76,902 in fines.

The following six businesses were given $5,000 fines:

  1.  A business operating as The Great Canadian Dollar Store on Main Street in Steinbach;
  2.  Best Sleep Centre on St. James Street in Winnipeg;
  3. A business operating as Dollarama on PTH 12 North in Steinbach;
  4.  Prairie Foods on Main Avenue in Plum Coulee;
  5.  Red Apple Store on Saskatchewan Avenue East in Portage la Prairie; and
  6. Walmart Supercentre on Lakewood Boulevard in Winnipeg.

Enforcement officers also handed out 33 $1,296 fines to individuals who defied the orders for various reasons, eight $298 fines for people not wearing masks in indoor public places, as well as one $1,750 ticket to someone for breaking the Federal Quarantine Act.

During this week, enforcement officers gave out 249 warnings.

Since April 9, a total of 720 tickets have been handed out to Manitoba businesses and residents for breaking public health orders, coming to a total of $1,061,512.

THE BUSINESSES RESPOND

When asked about the fine, David Keam president of Best Sleep Centre Inc., said he thought what he was doing was essential.

“I was asked to make sure that a First Nations community was able to supply itself with the items needed to fight COVID in their community and build a COVID isolation centre,” he said in a statement.

“We worked hard pulled together many suppliers together to make sure this First Nations community got what it needed.”

He added he also had another client whose home burned down, and he had just gotten his insurance payout. Keam wanted to ensure things could get back to normal for this client. 

“Many of our customers these days are pulling loved ones out of nursing homes where deaths are occurring at an alarming rate,” he said. 

“We are making sure they have the equipment needed to make mom and dad or grandma and grandpa comfortable in their homes at a time when home is where many want to be.”

Keam added everyone working with the business is wearing a mask and cleaning as much as possible.

Dollarama confirmed the location in Steinbach was fined on Jan. 8 due to the availability of seasonal items. A spokesperson for the store said the situation was immediately addressed.

“Dollarama is committed to complying with Manitoba’s evolving public health orders regarding the sale of non-essential goods, as we continue to provide Manitobans with access to affordable, everyday products in these difficult circumstances,” they said in a statement.