Vancouver mayor says fines, penalties coming to enforce coronavirus measures

Vancouver’s mayor says fines, business closures and other penalties could be on the way to enforce social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kennedy Stewart said council will meet virtually Monday to vote on an amendment to the city’s emergency powers bylaw that would allow bylaw officers to issue penalties to anyone either gathering in large groups or not doing what they can to keep two metres apart.

“The time of asking nicely is coming to an end,” Stewart told reporters Sunday.

“While many residents have responsibly kept two metres away from others in public, too many people still think the rules do not apply to them. … Our message is clear: Shut down, Stay put, Save lives.”

City manager Sadhu Johnston said the fines, which could reach as high as $50,000, are meant for businesses, not individuals. He said city staff are “looking at” fines for people who continue to gather in large groups, however.

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