Within the last week, ticket numbers rose and now fines are also heavier, in some cases double, for all COVID health rule infractions, including failure to pay the fine.
A total of 97 warnings and 60 tickets were issued for the week of May 3 to 9 including:
• 50 $1,296 tickets to individuals for various offences;
• nine $298 tickets to individuals for failure to wear a mask in indoor public places; and
• one $5,000 ticket to a business.
Officials advise 47 of the 50 $1,296 tickets issued were in relation to gatherings in private residences or outdoors, and three tickets issued for failure to self-isolate.
Manitoba Justice officials continue to follow-up and investigate all large gathering and rallies they are made aware of and advise an additional 32 $1,296 tickets were issued in relations to rallies. This includes two tickets from the Winkler rally on May 1, eight tickets from The Forks rally on May 1, and 22 tickets from the Law Courts rally on May 3. All events remain under investigation and additional charges are expected. Officials advise the choice to defy public health orders is a serious offence and violators will be held to account.
The Manitoba government has made amendments to the Preset Fines and Offence Descriptions Regulation and the Provincial Offences General Regulation under the Provincial Offences Act to strengthen provincial public health order enforcement. Changes include:
• increasing fines for individuals who have received two or more tickets for failing to wear a mask to $486 from $298;
• increasing fines for individuals who have received two or more tickets for other penalties under the orders to $2,542 from $1,296; and
• doubling the penalty for failing to pay a ticket in the required timeframe (default conviction) to $100 from $50.
Manitobans are urged to continue reporting compliance and enforcement issues by visiting www.manitoba.ca/COVID19 and completing the reporting form, or by calling 204-945-3744 or (toll-free) 1-866-626-4862 and pressing option three on the call menu.
Manitobans are reminded that public health officials are following up with the public to ensure compliance with self-isolation requirements.
Officials advise that security personnel from Commissionaires Manitoba are now greeting all travellers arriving at the Winnipeg International Airport to advise on Manitoba’s self-isolation requirements, distribute public health materials and answer basic questions about public health orders.
Officials note that many Manitobans are doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and are following the fundamentals. However, education and enforcement remain necessary in some instances. The public is reminded that abusive and aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated, and criminal offences will be reported to police and investigated.
Almost 3,300 personnel across various agencies are empowered to enforce public health orders to protect Manitobans. This includes RCMP, law enforcement agencies, provincial employees and municipal partners, such as the City of Winnipeg.
Since enforcement efforts began in April 2020, a total of 4,105 warnings and 1,354 tickets have been issued, resulting in over $1.8 million in fines to businesses and individuals.
Updated enforcement statistics are posted online weekly at: https://manitoba.ca/openmb/infomb/departments/index.html#cdr.
Additional data related to COVID-19, including data on enforcement, vaccines, outbreaks as well as some downloadable and historic data, can be found at https://geoportal.gov.mb.ca/.
Fine amounts for violating public health orders have been set at $298 for not wearing a mask in indoor public places, $1,296 for tickets issued to individuals for various offences, including sole proprietorships and partnerships, and $5,000 for tickets issued to corporations.
The Manitoba government is taking strong action to protect Manitobans and ensure timely access to care. Current orders under the Public Health Act are available at:
Public health orders remain in effect and Manitobans are reminded to adhere to all current public health orders and stay home. Stick to the fundamentals of physical distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask. For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.
For information about activities designed to make staying home a little easier, visit Safe at Home Manitoba at www.safeathomemb.ca/.