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.

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

Move430 aims to encourage Langley residents to be active while raising funds to help kids play sports (KidSport image)
A virtual get-active challenge to Langley residents

MOVE430 fundraiser by Langley KidSport will help young athletes take up organized sports

Max and Charlie found their forever home through LAPS. (Special to The Star)
Langley Animal Protection Society says goodbye to longtime volunteers

Dog walkers Donna Linke and Pauline Markle have retired after more than 15 years of service

Langley Township council passed a tree protection bylaw in 2019, but one resident says the municipality does not do enough to preserve valuable trees. (Black Press Media)
LETTER: The last straw

An Aldergrove resident mourns the loss of 125-year-old Douglas fir tree

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anti-pipeline protests continue in Greater Vancouver, with the latest happening Thursday, March 4 at a Trans Mountain construction site in Burnaby. (Facebook/Laurel Dykstra)
A dozen faith-based protestors blockade Burnaby Trans Mountain site in prayer

The group arrived early Thursday, planning to ‘block any further work’

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

(Government of B.C.)
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

Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

Most Read