RCMP investigate outdoor gathering near Midway
2021-05-27 14:45 PDT
File # 2021-1601
On May 22, 2021 Midway RCMP received a report of a large outdoor unsanctioned gathering, planned contrary to the Public Health Order and set to take place in the back country outside of Midway BC. RCMP launched an investigation and identified the individual who they believe organized the event.
Police attended the remote area off Hulme Creek Road on a number of occasions over the weekend, and observed upwards of 200 persons camping on Crown land. When those front line officers were in the area, they observed individuals gathered in small groups, at their own individual campsites, which is not contrary to the COVID-19 restrictions.
However, enforcement officers did conduct checks of motorists entering and leaving the area, in search of contraventions of a variety of acts and statutes. During those checks, police identified 3 individuals who were believed to be in contravention of the Emergency Programs Act, and were each issued a $230 fine under section 4(4) of the EPA Protective Measures (COVID-19) Order, for allegedly attending a non-compliant event.
Given the totality of the situation and for certain unspecified circumstances, the Midway RCMP will be using discretion in this matter and adopting an educational approach, with the organizer who will not be subjected to a fine under the Emergency Programs Act for this occurrence. Instead, police will be working to facilitate a conflict resolution between the organizer and others directly involved.
We all have an important role to play during this health emergency. Public safety remains a priority for the RCMP and we urge citizens to adhere to the orders being implemented to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, says Cpl. Phil Peters, Detachment Commander of the Midway RCMP.
While we certainly can, and will enforce the provisions available to us under the Emergency Program Act, we continue to encourage everyone to voluntarily comply with the provincial health orders, so enforcement actions are not required.
Cpl. Jesse O'DonagheyDistrict Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
170-395 Penno Road Kelowna, BC V1X 7W5
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