Manitoba issues $126,082 in tickets for those not following health orders
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government announced Tuesday morning that there was a jump in tickets handed out last week compared to the previous one.
Enforcement officers handed out 95 tickets and 79 warnings between Nov. 16 and 22.
This is up from the 30 tickets handed out the week before.
Of the newest fines, nine $5,000 tickets were handed out to businesses, and another 55 tickets of $1,296 were given to individual Manitobans.
The province also noted 28 tickets for not wearing a mask in an indoor public place were written up, which is a fine of $298.
The province issued $126,082 worth of fines last week.
More tickets have also been handed out to those who attended a rally in Steinbach on Nov. 16. There have been a total of 16 tickets issued and more are expected to come.
One of those tickets was handed out on Nov. 21 to a person who also attended a rally at the Legislative Building in Winnipeg.
Officials are also investigating a church gathering that took place in Steinbach over the weekend. One person has been given a $1,296 fine and the province said more tickets are expected.
Premier Brian Pallister said enforcement officers were onsite, but only one ticket was issued.
"In the interests of not accelerating the situation, they did not hand out many tickets onsite," said Pallister.
"They didn't want to go into the church and then potentially create a more dangerous situation, a more violent situation, and so data was gathered, evidence was gathered and other tickets will be issued," he said, noting an update will come next week.
Pallister also called out one Manitoba business that received a ticket. He said the Corona Hotel in Glenella, Man., was ticketed for having its beverage room open, and people were playing pool.
"Guys, don't do things like that. This is disheartening," Pallister said.
The owner of the hotel, Bob Fuglsang, said he wants the premier's comments and the ticket retracted because they are not true.
"The beverage room was not open," said Fuglsang. "My five-year-old grandson was throwing balls around on the pool table, and we had a couple family members here."
The family was only over for about a half-hour according to Fuglsang, and that is when the liquor inspector showed up.
"He said he could hear people playing pool and people talking. I said 'the beverage room is locked' and I gave him the story. The next day he came back with a ticket."
He said no one was being served and everything was closed down.
The ticket Fuglsang received was worth $1,296, which is the fine amount for an individual.
"The ticket has my name on it, nothing to do with the Corona Hotel."
Fuglsang said he wants Pallister to correct his statement and say he was wrong. He also noted the premier should not be calling out small businesses and feels the province doesn't actually care about small business owners.
"If somebody is running around trying to give you fines for nothing, it sure don't help business any."
Pallister said if businesses decide to break the public health orders, they better expect to be exposed and end up on television.
Fuglsang said the government should focus their efforts on the bigger areas where there are real problems, instead of small towns in the "middle of nowhere".
Since April, a total of 307 tickets have been handed out, totaling $390,000.
Pallister said he hopes one day, he won't have to talk about the tickets that were issued.
"I long for the day we didn't have to do this and I look forward to the day that there aren't any tickets issued because people get the message."
If Manitobans do see instances of people not following the public health orders, they are asked to call 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862.