One church in the Rural Municipality of Hanover could face a hefty fine for continuing to ignore public health orders.
In its weekly COVID-19 enforcement bulletin, the province has identified the Church of God Restoration as a repeat offender. Enforcement officials note they have sworn an information under the legislation, where the courts will determine the fine amount. According to the province, the maximum penalty is $1 million.
Meanwhile, there were 131 tickets issued last week across the province. Of those, 124 were to individuals for various offences, including gatherings in private residences or outdoors. Those tickets are worth $1,296 each. The province says gatherings at private residences continues to be an issue and will remain a focus of enforcement in the coming weeks to ensure individuals who continue to disregard the public health orders are held to account.
There were also five tickets worth $298 each, for individuals who failed to wear a mask in an indoor public place. And, one ticket for $5,000 to a business in Portage.
Enforcement officials also continue to investigate several recent large gatherings and rallies, and additional charges are expected.
As the weather continues to warm up, Manitobans are advised that conservation and park patrol officers are enforcing public health and state of emergency orders within provincial parks and issued 35 tickets to individuals over the past week for various offences.
Unpaid fines for tickets for Public Health Act offences proceed through the provincial offences court. If the ticket is not responded to during the response period indicated on the ticket, the individual would be default convicted and a $100 default conviction penalty would be applied. In such cases, the individual would also be prohibited from renewing a driver's license or vehicle registration until the amount is paid. Unpaid amounts are also sent to a collections agency for further collection action.
Since enforcement efforts began in April 2020, a total of 4,727 warnings and 1,812 tickets have been issued, resulting in over $2.4 million in fines to businesses and individuals.