Province increases maximum fine for breaking public health order

The provincial government is increasing the maximum fine that can be given for someone breaking the public health order.

Any individual caught breaking the public health order can now face a fine of up to $7,500, with a 40 per cent surcharge, totalling $10,500.

Any organization that breaks the health order can face a maximum fine of $100,000, plus a 40 per cent surcharge, totalling $140,000.

Until Monday, the maximum fine for an individual was $2,000 with a $800 surcharge. For organizations, the maximum fine was $10,000 plus a $4,000 surcharge.

The NDP wanted a special clause for protest organizers to allow for a fine of no less than $10,000 plus surcharge, which would be a $14,000 ticket.

“It's clear that the $2,800 tickets that are being issued right now aren't serving as a deterrence for these protests in fact, we're seeing protesters quite loudly brag when they receive these tickets,” said NDP justice critic Nicole Sarauer.

The Sask Party threw the amendment proposed by the Opposition out, as it said there are other legal avenues besides the public health order to fine individuals that organize a protest.

“We know that there's a number of individuals that are frequent breachers of the Public Health Act and have a number of fines that have been levied in the $2,800 range, I believe. But there's certainly ability for the police to lay significantly higher fines,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Gordon Wyant.