Three Manitobans fined for breaking public health orders

WINNIPEG — RCMP officers have issued fines to three Manitobans for breaking public health orders, including not wearing a mask and not following gathering size limits.

Mounties said between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1 they received 182 calls related to COVID-19, noting that for most of these incidents enforcement was not required because they were resolved through education and guidance.

Police noted that in five of these calls, officers issued a verbal warning, and in three instances, they issued fines for failing to comply with a provincial emergency order.

These three incidents included:

  1. Stonewall RCMP responding to a report of an intoxicated female causing a disturbance on Oct. 28. Officers fined the female for not wearing a mask;
  2. Cross Lake RCMP responding to a house party on Oct. 30. The homeowner was fined for having more than five people in her home; and
  3. Norway House RCMP responding to a report of a woman who wasn’t self-isolating as directed. Mounties said this woman had been warned in the past and was given a fine.

Chief Supt. Rob Hill, criminal operations officer for the Manitoba of the RCMP, said in a statement the officers’ focus since the start of the pandemic has been to provide education and give out warnings, but since there has been a dramatic rise in cases, the RCMP recognizes that a shift is necessary.

“While officers will still have discretion, I have made it clear that ticketing is the preferred option for individuals who are blatantly disregarding the public health orders and putting lives at risk,” he said. 

“This is about protecting the health and safety of every Manitoban. We all need to do our part to help reduce and stop the spread of this virus.

Since April 9, RCMP officers have issued a total of 77 warnings and 42 fines.

Mounties remind Manitobans living outside of Winnipeg not to call 911 for COVID-19 related issues, but rather reports of non-compliance can be made to the Manitoba government inquiry line at 1-866-626-4862.

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