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Alberta authorizes peace officers to enforce COVID-19 restrictions; 15 new cases in RMWB

·2 min read

Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu has temporarily authorized 700 provincial peace officers to enforce new COVID-19 restrictions.

These officers will be able to give tickets and fines to anyone caught breaking those restrictions, which were announced earlier this week. Depending on the severity of the violation, fines for breaking health restrictions could range from a $1,000 ticketed offence to a $100,000 fine through the court system.

When asked how officers would handle people intentionally ingoring the new rules out of protest, Madu said there would be no exceptions.

“We are now faced with a very serious situation that requires that we hold people not compliant with these measures accountable,” he said. “You are going to see a heightened level of enforcement in those cases where there are individuals blatantly non-compliant with health measures.”

At the press briefing, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said many new health restrictions announced earlier this week are now in effect. She urged Albertans to be patient with each other as citizens and businesses familiarize themselves with the rules.

“If a line is a bit longer than usual or an employee asks you to follow a new policy that is in place, please do not take your frustrations out on these workers,” she said. “These new restrictions and measures create extra work and pressures for staff, owners and operators.”

Father Mercredi Catholic High School has been placed on the provincial COVID-19 watch list after five positive cases have been reported in relation to the school.

Schools are put on the provincial watch list after five or more cases have been acquired or transmitted in the school. After being added to the list, additional health measures may be put into place within a school to control the spread. The province then works with Alberta Health Services (AHS), the school and the school board to monitor cases.

Currently, 89 Alberta schools are on the watch list.

swilliscraft@postmedia.com

Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today