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Central Okanagan church fined $2,300 for mass gathering, say Kelowna RCMP

Click to play video 'Kelowna church ticketed for holding in-person worship services' Kelowna church ticketed for holding in-person worship services
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A place of worship in the Central Okanagan was fined last month, say Kelowna RCMP, for violating provincial health rules about mass gatherings amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Mass gatherings are currently banned under a provincial order that can be viewed here.

Police did not name the church, located along the 1600 block of Harvey Avenue, but said a representative was issued a $2,300 violation ticket during the morning of Dec. 19.

Kelowna RCMP say it was the second time in two weeks that officers visited the church, with the first incident taking place on Dec. 6.

Read more: ‘It wasn’t 100 people, it was 38’: Vancouver restaurant owners speak out on COVID-19 fine

During that initial encounter, police say officers responded to a report of people gathering, with officers taking “an educational approach regarding the current COVID-19 health regulations in an attempt to attain compliance from the congregation.”

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Two weeks later, though, on Dec. 19, police say they again responded to a report of a large religious gathering at the same place of worship.

“The complaint was investigated and a representative of the congregation was issued a violation ticket in the amount of $,2300 for failure to comply with an order of a health officer,” said Kelowna RCMP.

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Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance said “we want to acknowledge the vast majority of our community who are complying with the public health orders. This has been a challenging year, however now is not the time to gather.”

Triance continued, saying “we will continue to work with our partners with the provincial health authorities and B.C. Prosecution Service as we actively investigate and take necessary enforcement action on reports of non-compliance with the provincial health orders.”

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