“We’re not going full Quebec here,” local RCMP not yet enforcing provincial ‘safe six’ health orders

It is business as usual for RCMP in both the South Peace and north of the river.

Dawson Creek RCMP Staff Sgt. Damon Werrell says throughout the whole pandemic, the Dawson Creek RCMP may not have taken any calls related to provincial health orders yet.

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“Generally within Dawson Creek and the surrounding communities are complying with health orders," he notes.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 299 new cases Nov. 3, including four epi-linked cases, for a total of 15,800 cases in British Columbia. There are 3,017 active cases in the province, and 6,888 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposures.  The recent spike in cases has led the province to clamp down further with increased COVID-19 restrictions.

"As a result, a new provincial health officer order will be put in place today limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others,” said Henry on Oct. 26.

"Enforcement will be stepped up to ensure people are following this new order, with the immediate focus on the Fraser Health region, where the increase in new cases is most notable.”

Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins said the orders are enforceable and people can complain about larger gatherings.

“Essentially, the orders are enforceable by a variety of authorities, and yes people can complain if there is a large gathering about which they have concerns,” said Collins.

Fort St John RCMP Detachment Commander Tony Hansen says local RCMP will not be banging on doors or hunting down citizens yet.

“What I imagine is that we would be contacted by the health authority in the event they had some information, and we would be obliged to act on their direction, to determine if it was a violation,” Hansen said.

“We’re not going full Quebec here.”

tsummer@ahnfsj.ca

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