Shawn Stiles, owner of Inifinity Limousine, seen here with one of his stretch SUVS on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, said there has been a lack of clarity about COVID-19 rules for the industry (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Shawn Stiles, owner of Inifinity Limousine, seen here with one of his stretch SUVS on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, said there has been a lack of clarity about COVID-19 rules for the industry (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley City limousine company owner says there has been a lack of clarity about COVID-19 regulations

Provincial order allows $2,000 fines on party buses and limousines without saying what’s allowed

A Langley City limousine business owner who is preparing to shut down his company says there has been a lack of clear guidance from health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, Shawn Stiles, owner of Infinity Limousine, was getting ready to pull the licence plates off his two stretch SUVs and cancel their insurance.

“Yesterday was weird,” Stiles commented, referring to the announcement the day before, on Friday, Nov. 13, by provincial solicitor general Mike Farnworth, that gives police and other provincial enforcement officers the ability to fine party buses and limousines $2,000.

It was part of a tightening of pandemic restrictions in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions that is only supposed to be for two weeks, but Stile is pessimistic.

READ ALSO: Lower Mainland residents face new restrictions

Stiles is a member of the just-incorporated Greater Vancouver Limousine Association that will speak for the the industry, a group so new that it has yet to select a spokesperson.

He said before the fines were announced, the limousine industry had been trying for months to get clear direction on what is and is not allowed, without much success.

“We have received nothing [in the way of guidance],” Stiles told the Langley Advance Times.

“One hundred per cent frustration,” is how he characterized the situation.

As an example, Stiles cited a limousine operator who, he said, was advised by authorities that weddings were fine, so long as only immediate family was being transported. Three hours later, they called back and said no.

Stiles said among other things, the industry would like to know if they could reduce their rates to go along with a reduction in the maximum number of passengers.

Limousine companies want to follow the rules, Stiles said, but the problem is those rules aren’t clearly defined.

During the early days of the pandemic Stiles was taking precautions that included social distancing, wearing masks, providing hand sanitizers, and reducing the numbers of passengers in the stretch SUVs.

“We have a partition [between the driver and passengers],” he noted.

READ ALSO: Langley indie-rocker responds to criticism on recent night out to Granville Street

He said he didn’t have a problem with misbehaving passengers who ignore COVID-19 restrictions, because he got out of the party bus business about five years ago.

“I don’t do the bar crowd,” Stiles said.

“I focus on weddings and wine tours.”

Stiles, who has been in the industry for 15 years, said he is better positioned to ride things out than so,me other operators because his limousine company isn’t his sole source of income.

In 2019, Infinity had a really good year, bringing in roughly $60,000, Stiles estimated.

This year, with less than two months to go, the figure is much smaller, at $18,000.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langley City

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley City’s Gregory Douglas snapped a picture of a rainbow over the downtown core Tuesday, Nov. 24. “Just wanted to share this beautiful view that I happened to capture today, that illustrates not only Mother Nature’s beauty,” but what an “amazing city” we live in. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Langley City resident discovers treasure and both ends of the rainbow

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Sonya Perkins of Langley’s Forever Yours Lingerie said there’ve been challenges, but customers are supporting local shops during the pandemic. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
‘Shop Local’ key as Langley businesses work through COVID

Business groups are trying to encourage local buying to keep stores alive

Army and Navy was in business for more than a century but closed earlier this year, citing COVID-19 as the cause. The space at Langley Mall has been taken over by McFrugal’s Discount Outlet. (Lisa Farquharson/Black Press Media)
Few closures as Langley businesses battle COVID-19 downturn

Smaller, Canadian chains among casualties locally

Velma MacAllister, coordinator of the Langley Christmas Bureau, holds up donated gift cards at the bureau’s temporary location at Timms Community Centre in Langley City. The bureau is in need of cash, gift card or cheque donations this year to support 800 local families. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Generosity imperative this holiday season

Langley Christmas Bureau is dependent on the donation of gift cards this year

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

Most Read