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COVID-19: Calgary ‘freedom’ protests net more fines

Click to play video: 'Nenshi asks COVID-19 protestors to ‘stop being so frickin’ self-indulgent’' Nenshi asks COVID-19 protestors to ‘stop being so frickin’ self-indulgent’
Nenshi asks COVID-19 protestors to ‘stop being so frickin’ self-indulgent’ – Dec 9, 2020

More tickets have been handed out to Calgary residents openly defying both provincial and municipal COVID-19 public health orders, following another weekend of anti-mask protesting in the city.

Two tickets were issued Tuesday for breaking public health orders at rallies on the weekend. And three additional tickets were handed out to event organizers, including fines for holding an event without a permit and attaching signs to trees.

The city said the weekend’s events “remain under investigation.”

Read more: ‘We will go after these people’: Calgary getting more enforcement under new public health orders

The Calgary Police Service and city bylaw officers have issued a total of 18 tickets for violating the orders under the Public Health Act: seven of which were given out in the last three. Fines for breaking public health orders start at $1,000.

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Twenty-one people have been fined for violating the municipal face coverings bylaw, which came into effect on Aug. 1. Right now, those fines are $50, however the bylaw is under review, and officials propose increasing them to $100. A decision on increasing the fine is expected on Monday.

Click to play video: 'Nenshi asks COVID-19 protestors to ‘stop being so frickin’ self indulgent’' Nenshi asks COVID-19 protestors to ‘stop being so frickin’ self indulgent’
Nenshi asks COVID-19 protestors to ‘stop being so frickin’ self indulgent’ – Dec 9, 2020

 

A religious gathering over the weekend netted organizers three $3,000 fines, since the event was held in a place without approved development or building permits, the city said.

Another religious assembly is being reviewed by officers, with evidence from Alberta Health Services being investigated.

Read more: Calgary and Edmonton rallies protest government COVID-19 restrictions

Calgary’s chief bylaw officer Ryan Pleckaitis said this is just the beginning of the tickets.

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“We will continue to focus on enforcement where people are clearly disregarding compliance,” Pleckaitis said in a statement.

“The actions we take today and over the coming weeks will bear significant impact on the safety of us all. While we have done a great deal of education, the province has made it clear that there must be a consequence to putting other people at risk.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary rally protests government COVID-19 restrictions' Calgary rally protests government COVID-19 restrictions
Calgary rally protests government COVID-19 restrictions – Dec 5, 2020

No tickets have been issued for failing to display proper signage at entrances to public, indoor spaces.

With reduced capacity orders coming into effect on the weekend, business license inspectors are working with partners like AHS, CPS, AGLC and OHS to identify businesses running afoul of the new restrictions.

Questions, concerns and complaints can be submitted to AHS online or by calling 1-833-415-9179. Calgary’s 311 service and CPS non-emergency at 403-266-1234 can also be contacted if violations are suspected.

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