VICTORIA Police patrol officers issued over $2,500 in fines last weekend after separate house parties were found to be in contravention of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CRMA).
Shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, patrol officers we called to a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 100-block of South Turner Street for a report of a loud party. Officers spoke with a resident of the suite who stated that there were four people present in the suite, and only two of them were not members of the household.
Officers were given permission to enter the suite and found one man hiding in a bedroom on the floor at the foot of a bed, and another man hiding in a closet. The presence of four people who were not members of the household contravened the Provincial Health Officer’s Gathering and Events Order. The residents of the suite were served with a violation ticket for $2,300 under the CRMA for failing to comply with the order. All non-residents were ordered to leave the suite.
Only an hour-and-a-half later, at approximately 12:30 p.m., patrol officers were called to another report of a loud party at a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 1400-block of Hillside Avenue. Officers attended and noticed that the suite’s windows were fogged with condensation, and there was loud music and people yelling inside. Officers spoke with the resident of the suite who admitted there were five guests who were not residents of the suite. Officers observed that masks were not being worn and physical distancing was not taking place. The resident was served a $230 violation ticket under the CRMA for promoting or encouraging attendance at a non-compliant gathering or event.
Police pointed out that currently, under the Provincial Health Officer’s Gathering and Events Order, gatherings at residences may not include any person outside of the household, regardless of whether those individuals work together, or consider themselves part of a “bubble”. Failure to comply with this order may result in a $2,300 fine under the CRMA.