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Ignoring COVID-19 restrictions will net people $1.3K fine, $5k fine for businesses in Manitoba

Click to play video 'Increased COVID-19 enforcement in Manitoba' Increased COVID-19 enforcement in Manitoba
The province will be coming down harder on those ignoring COVID-19 public health orders. Will Reimer reports – Oct 21, 2020

Manitoba has a new threshold for fines for those who don’t follow the public health rules around COVID-19.

The provincial cabinet approved a new maximum fine of $5,000 Wednesday – nearly double the current penalty – for some who flout public health orders.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Winnipeg introduces fines for those who ignore physical distancing rules' Coronavirus outbreak: Winnipeg introduces fines for those who ignore physical distancing rules
Coronavirus outbreak: Winnipeg introduces fines for those who ignore physical distancing rules – Apr 9, 2020

“Along with stronger public health orders, these new and substantially higher fines are an additional tool to help keep Manitobans safe,” said Premier Brian Pallister.

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For people, the fine was $486 but has now risen to $1,296, the second-highest such fine level in Canada. For corporations, the fine was $2,542 and is now $5,000.

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“All of us, we’re tired of COVID, frustrated by COVID, fed up with COVID,” said Pallister.

“Sadly, there is a small minority of those who are not doing their part.”

The new fines are effective immediately.

The RCMP and other police agencies, the Health Protection Unit, Manitoba Conservation and Climate, Workplace Safety and Health, and the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority all have the power to issue fines.

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Read more: About 1% of COVID-19 complaints in Manitoba lead to fines

In the past, only about 1 per cent of complaints have led to a fine in Manitoba.

Pallister said 134 tickets have been handed out so far.

On Monday, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said the new restrictions introduced that day would be enforceable under the law.

“We have issued fines in the past where required, and we’ll be looking at ways to step up enforcement efforts in the coming weeks,” he said.

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“We are going to get tougher on enforcement. We’re going to look at potentially increasing the fines that we can levy in this regard.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Manitoba increases COVID-19 fines for individuals and corporations' Coronavirus: Manitoba increases COVID-19 fines for individuals and corporations
Coronavirus: Manitoba increases COVID-19 fines for individuals and corporations – Oct 21, 2020

Roussin said, however, that enforcement, like masks, isn’t the only thing that can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“And while these rules are serious, there is more beyond the rules that each of us must do to change our behaviour … we don’t need an order to change our behaviour.”

Click to play video 'Premier says Manitobans flouting social distancing can soon expect fines' Premier says Manitobans flouting social distancing can soon expect fines
Premier says Manitobans flouting social distancing can soon expect fines – Apr 8, 2020

Fines have been imposed in the past, mostly for Winnipeg restaurants for not following social distancing rules.

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