B.C. RCMP say 585 total fines for COVID-19 infractions have already been issued since Jan. 8, 2021. Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

B.C. RCMP say 585 total fines for COVID-19 infractions have already been issued since Jan. 8, 2021. Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Nearly 600 COVID-19 fines already issued by B.C. RCMP in 2021

The Lower Mainland District accounts for 415 total infractions

The number of fines for breaking COVID-19 rules in B.C. are increasing as the pandemic continues.

Statistics provided by the RCMP show 585 total fines have already been issued from Jan. 8 to April 8. That’s compared to the 391 fines handed out between August 2020 to Jan. 7.

RCMP senior media relations officer Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Thursday the increase is in line with a shift away from education of pandemic rules to enforcement.

The Lower Mainland, with the highest population, leads B.C.’s four RCMP districts with 415 total infractions. Of those, 313 were issued under the provincial Emergency Program Act’s (EPA) protective measures order, 58 were specific to face covering infractions and 44 were related to the federal Quarantine Act.

The North District has had 84 fines issued since Jan. 8. Fifty of those are under the EPA order, 33 are related to face coverings and one is federal.

B.C’s Southeast District, which includes the Okanagan and Kootenays, has had 45 fines (24 for EPA infractions, 11 federal and 10 face coverings), while the Island District follows with 41 fines (27 face covering fines, 12 under the EPA and two federal).

Neither the RCMP nor the public safety ministry were able to show how many individuals have received multiple fines, or which municipalities have the highest number of infractions.

ICBC, which manages ticket fee collection for the province, said earlier this month $716,930 in outstanding fees had not been paid.

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@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

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