More tickets handed out in connection with anti-restriction rallies in Manitoba

Manitoba enforcement officers handed out 26 tickets over the last week to people attending anti-restriction rallies.

In the province’s latest enforcement update, it said enforcement officials issued 20 tickets for a rally at The Forks on April 25.

Officers also issued two tickets for a rally in Winkler on May 1 and four tickets for a rally at the Winnipeg Law Courts on May 3. The fines from the Winkler and law courts rallies will be included in the next enforcement update data, because they were issued after May 2.

The province said investigations into these events are continuing and more charges are expected.

“Officials advise the choice to defy public health orders is a serious offence and violators will be held to account,” the province said.

ARREST AT RALLY

According to the Winnipeg Police Service, a man was arrested at the rally at the law courts Monday.

Police said as a result of enforcement action, a disturbance occurred, which led to a minor assault. A man was arrested, and later cautioned and released with no charges.

OVERALL ENFORCEMENT

The province said that between April 26 and May 2, enforcement officers issued 58 tickets to people defying public health orders. This includes 42 $1,296 tickets -- 33 of these tickets were related to gatherings and nine tickets were for failure to self-isolate.

Enforcement officers also handed out 12 $298 tickets for not wearing a mask in a public place, and four $5,000 tickets to different businesses. This includes two tickets to the Christian Church of Morden, one to Ship and Plough Tavern in Gimli, and one to Wasabi on Broadway in Winnipeg.

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to these businesses for more information.

Since the province started its enforcement efforts, it has issued nearly $1.8 million in fines.

FIGHTING THE FINES

Scott Carman, owner of Ship and Plough Tavern, said the fine was a result of a liquor inspector coming by the business on April 24.

“We were ticketed for service after 10 p.m. and failure to vacate the premises by 10 p.m.,” he said.

Carman said the liquor inspector showed up at the restaurant at 10:15 p.m. and found staff members closing the restaurant. Carman said the staff members were drinking with his permission.

“The place was closed, doors were locked, open sign was flipped. It was only staff members there – two of them -- with my permission, and we got fined,” he said.

Under current public health orders, restaurants cannot serve any food between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. They also have to be closed during this time, with exceptions for delivery and takeout.

“We take the public health protocols very seriously. We’ve always followed them to a tee,” Carman said.

“I feel that this particular incident is a misinterpretation of the spirit of the law.”

He said he will be pleading his case.

“We were not open to the public. We were not serving the public. Public safety is of paramount importance to us,” he said.