Only 1 scofflaw has been fined under Calgary’s mask bylaw, officials say

City and police officials say people in Calgary are being compliant for the most part with the month-old municipal mask bylaw.

Since mandatory indoor masking came into force in Calgary on Aug. 1, just one person has been fined for refusing to comply, police say.

Under Calgary’s bylaw, people must wear a face covering over their mouth, nose and chin, in all indoor public spaces in the city, like malls and grocery stores, and on Calgary Transit, and in taxis and Ubers.

It does not include schools, daycares and multi-family residential buildings.

The city says tickets are treated as a last resort and that people should generally be educated rather than fined for not complying.

But on Aug. 4, someone refused to wear a mask while visiting a bank and was fined.

The customer was asked to wear a mask and even offered a mask by staff. But the customer refused.

Police don’t believe there was any medical issue but that the customer just didn’t like the bylaw.

Officers escorted the unmasked patron from the bank and issued a $50 fine.

Victoria party 

A man in British Columbia faced a much stiffer penalty last week for flouting the rules in that province.

A Victoria party host was fined $2,300 Friday night in what could be the first penalty levied under the just-announced COVID-19 sanctions for unsafe gatherings. 

Victoria police say that after hearing about plans for a large party, officers attended a one-bedroom suite early in the evening to remind the host of the COVID-19 safety regulations.

They returned to the building at 10:30 p.m. and found about 15 people in the suite. The host was warned the party was considered unsafe and he replied that he would co-operate.

But when officers returned to the suite for a third time, they found 30 party goers in the now densely packed apartment.

Police say the host failed to document guests and their contact information, which is required in B.C. for the purposes of tracing should any attendees contract COVID-19.

The host was fined $2,000 for violating the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, and an additional $300 for the victim surcharge.

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