Steinbach RCMP warns of fines for violating public health orders
WINNIPEG -- Steinbach RCMP is reminding residents that participate in any type of large gathering over the weekend are violating public health orders, as a church near Steinbach, Man. plans to hold a service one week after being ticketed.
In a release on Friday, the RCMP said all places of worship must be closed and drive-in religious services are not permitted, even if people remain in their vehicle at all times.
In addition, gatherings of more than five people at any indoor or outdoor public space are prohibited.
“Our goal is certainly not to hand out a bunch of tickets,” said Steinbach Detachment Commander S/Sgt Harold Laninga in a statement. “We want to keep everyone from coming to a large gathering in the first place. It is important to us that all citizens are aware of what the current orders are so they can abide by them. As always, our first and foremost goal is to keep everyone safe, and in these unprecedented times, that means staying at home.”
The release comes as the Church of God Restoration, located 15 minutes south of Steinbach, says it is planning to hold another public service on Sunday. The church was issued a $5,000 fine for holding an in-person service last weekend. The church's minister, Tobias Tissen, was also handed two tickets totalling more than $2,500 after attending the service and speaking at an anti-mask rally in Steinbach earlier in November.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, also reminded Manitobans on Friday to stay home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
"The weekend is coming up, and so there is always those urges to get together with others, or to run non-essential errands," Roussin said. "My ask to you is to stay home – stay home this weekend. Connect with people virtually, only out for essential reasons, don't leave the province to go shopping, don't do any non-essential activities."
Individuals can be fined $1,296 for violating public health orders, while businesses can be fined $5,000. Manitobans can also be fined $298 for not wearing a mask in an indoor public place.
-With files from CTV’s Danton Unger.