Mohammad Movassaghi, a man who allegedly operated a makeshift nightclub at his Vancouver penthouse, was issued fines against him and his suspected guests totalling more than $17,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Mohammad Movassaghi, a man who allegedly operated a makeshift nightclub at his Vancouver penthouse, was issued fines against him and his suspected guests totalling more than $17,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

88% of COVID-19 rulebreakers in B.C. haven’t paid their fines, $716K owed

The province is now looking into holding driver’s licence renewals until COVID-19 tickets are paid

The province is mulling over new ways to collect cash owed by COVID-19 rulebreakers, including those who hosted or attended gatherings, posing a public health risk.

Police issued more than $1.1-million in fines but a large majority of those violation tickets in B.C. have gone unpaid, according to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

From the start of the pandemic until Tuesday (March 27), 1,570 people were issued tickets in British Columbia, amassing $961,400 in fines.

Violations include refusing to wear a mask, violating the food and liquor serving order and throwing house parties or events in bars or restaurants.

Additionally, 128 individuals found breaching the Quarantine Act were slapped with $217,494 in federal fines – bringing the total owed in the province by scofflaws to $1,178,894.

READ MORE: Saanich poker game with 10 guests nets $2,300 fine

ICBC administers the retrieval of ticket fees on behalf of the government, sending them to collections after a 30-day period or after an alleged offender is found guilty in court.

As of Tuesday, COVID-19 rule violators owed the Crown corporation $716,930. Only a small fraction, 12 per cent, of the 1,162 COVID-19 ticket holders ICBC is processing have paid their dues.

Only 12 quarantine violation tickets have been paid, with $317,073 still owed federally by British Columbians. A portion are being challenged in court.

READ ALSO: Victoria partiers hid in closets trying to avoid fines

If a fine is not paid, ICBC said it may take additional measures including garnishing wages or assets or going to court to seize personal assets.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the province is looking into holding driver’s licence renewals until COVID-19 fines are paid.

“There will be more to come in the weeks ahead on further measures to collect outstanding fines,” he told Black Press Media.

RELATED: B.C. more than doubles fine for breaking COVID-19 gathering orders



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Pictured is Britany Bignham, a Cranbrook hairstylist who is one of 16 top stylists in the running for the Ultimate Stylist competition - an online international hair and beauty competition. She is pictured behind her chair at the Hair Mob. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook hairstylist vies for top prize in international competition

Britany Bingham is one of 16 finalists in the Ultimate Stylist competition

Kimberley RCMP detachment seeking information after female teenager grabbed by masked man.
Teenaged female grabbed by masked man on Kimberley trail

RCMP seeking witnesses or information

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

City staff has passed an order requiring remedial action on a building that was severely damaged by fire last fall. Trevor Crawley photo.
City council orders remedial action on vacant buildings damaged by fire

City council has issued a remedial action order relating to vacant buildings… Continue reading

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read