Advertisement

Kelowna RCMP investigates in-person church service for defying COVID-19 orders

Click to play video: 'Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings' Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings
Despite warnings and then fines from police last Sunday, a number of Fraser Valley churches have gone ahead with in-person services again on Sunday. These church leaders and their supporters say their rights under the constitution trump a provincial health order. Julia Foy has the story – Dec 6, 2020

Churches in the Fraser Valley are not the only ones openly defying provincial health orders not to gather amid the second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Kelowna RCMP confirm officers responded to a report of an in-person service at a church in the 1600-block of Harvey Avenue on Sunday just before 11:00 a.m.

Read more: Chilliwack RCMP investigates in-person church services for violations of COVID-19 orders

“When officers arrived they observed several people in attendance who were not wearing masks or social distancing,” said a statement from police, issued on Monday.

Click to play video: 'Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings' Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings
Several Fraser Valley churches hold services despite health order and police warnings – Dec 6, 2020

“Officers spoke at length with a leader to ensure there was a clear understanding of the updated regulations, and no fines were issued.”

Story continues below advertisement

The gathering was in contravention to the most recent Gatherings and Events Order by the public health officer, RCMP said.

Read more: B.C. extends ban on social gatherings until Jan. 8, restricting Christmas and New Year’s events

Mounties said they’re working with Interior Health “to determine the appropriate next steps.”

The name of the church was not released.

RCMP in the South and North Okanagan say they have not received similar reports.

It comes after several churches in the Fraser Valley held in-person services the past two Sundays, defying the regulation they say violates their constitutional rights.

Click to play video: 'More B.C. churches planning to defy health order and hold in-person services' More B.C. churches planning to defy health order and hold in-person services
More B.C. churches planning to defy health order and hold in-person services – Dec 1, 2020

Langley’s Riverside Calvary Chapel was issued a $2,300 fine for violating the order.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: There has been COVID-19 transmission linked to religious services, Fraser Health says

The province banned in-person worship on Nov. 19, citing surging COVID-19 case numbers.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there had been transmission in such settings.

With files from Simon Little

Sponsored content