FOLLOWING the provincial announcement on Friday, the Vancouver Police Department will have the authority to enforce provincial health orders with specified penalties such as tickets, with support from the City.
The new provincial measures provide increased enforcement powers for police and special constables across the Lower Mainland.
The penalties, set by the Province, are $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s order on gatherings and events, and $200 violation tickets to individuals not following the direction of police or enforcement staff at events, or who refuse to comply with requests to follow health orders or safe operating procedures, or who respond with abusive behaviour.
“Many members of the public, businesses and restaurants have been doing a great job helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep their community members safe,” said Jessie Adcock, General Manager of Development, Buildings and Licencing. “Enforcement, starting today, will be primarily focused on the much smaller group who aren’t.”
The City has a staff enforcement team for private property, businesses, parks, and beaches, who will continue to provide education about compliance with provincial health orders.
Starting today, these staff will now be involving the VPD when dealing with people or businesses who are persistent offenders. The VPD are now authorized by the Province to issue tickets and penalties.
“The legislation permitting police enforcement is new and we’re working to ensure all police officers are trained in their new legal authorities,” says Constable Tania Visintin, Media Relations Officer, VPD. “We’re asking the public for their patience and for people to voluntarily adhere to the new orders.”
If enforcement is escalated, the $2,000 fines set by the Province to owners, operators and organizers contravening provincial health orders will include:
· hosting a private party or public event in excess of 50 people;
· failing to provide appropriate hand sanitation and washroom facilities;
· failing to provide sufficient space in the venue for physical distancing;
· failing to obtain a list of names and contacts at large event; or
· having more than five guests gathered in a vacation accommodation.
$200 violation tickets for individuals will be for those who:
· actively encourage others to attend gatherings or events that do not comply with health orders;
· refuse to leave or disperse when directed to do so by enforcement officers;
· refuse to comply with requirements for a restaurant, bar or other licensed establishment; or
· respond with abusive behaviour towards employees.
“With these new enforcement measures, we are asking the public to call 3-1-1 if they see anything that concerns them related to the provincial health orders,” adds Visintin. “Please do not call 9-1-1 and leave those lines free for emergency situations.”
The City and the VPD strongly urge residents and businesses to report all complaints and concerns via VanConnect or by calling 3-1-1. A surge in calls and complaints is expected and staff will be working hard to respond to these as quickly as possible.
Who to contact:
· Call 311
· Call WorkSafeBC at 1-888-621-7233
What is not enforceable?
· Not hand washing or not wearing face coverings
· Social gatherings complying with health orders
· Concerns about workers or staff
What will the tickets and penalties be?
· Penalties are determined by the Province, more information is available at:
Everyone is being asked to stay strong, stay local, and keep following public health orders to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Continue to stay home if you’re sick, avoid holding or attending large gatherings, and keep 2 meters apart from others.