Chief expects fines for COVID-19 violations to ramp up; pandemic has created 'unease' for CPS

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The Calgary Police Service won’t hesitate to issue hefty fines to people found in violation of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, Chief Mark Neufeld said Tuesday.

Speaking at the monthly Calgary Police Commission meeting, held by teleconference due to the ongoing pandemic, Neufeld said that by the time a complaint ends up in the hands of police, they intend to act rather than educate.

“We’re quite hopeful that we’re not going to see a lot of it,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that time is of the essence in making sure folks are compliant with this, because if we don’t, then we won’t have prevented the spread anyway.”

Last week, the province granted police and peace officers the authority to hand out tickets to those who refuse to follow certain measures, including failure to self-isolate.

Albertans could face fines of up to $1,000 for violating those orders, while courts could up the penalties to $100,000 for a first offence and $500,000 for subsequent violations.

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