A man was issued a $230 fine after refusing to wear a mask inside a Central Saanich business. (Central Saanich Police Services/Twitter)

A man was issued a $230 fine after refusing to wear a mask inside a Central Saanich business. (Central Saanich Police Services/Twitter)

New restrictions unmasking Vancouver Island’s belligerent

Businesses recount customer anger about mask edict, as police pledge fines and enforcement

A Central Saanich police officer was in a local business Saturday, when he noticed a man not wearing a face covering.

The man was also ignoring directional signage and standing in close proximity to other patrons.

According to a Twitter post from the detachment, when the man was reminded to wear a mask, he became belligerent.

The result, under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, was a $230 fine.

It’s a pattern being repeated around Vancouver Island in the wake of increased instances of mandatory mask-wearing implemented by the province to combat rising cases of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, a customer entered Tseshaht First Nation Market and Gas Bar on Highway 4 just outside of Port Alberni and began to yell at staff and use obscenities.

He was objecting to the store’s COVID-19 protection policy, where people entering the store are required to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer. The male customer moved toward a female staff member. A male staff intervened and escorted the customer out of the store. Staff took pictures of his car with their cell phones before he drove away.

The next morning at approximately 5:30 a.m., a projectile was thrown at a Tseshaht Market window, shattering the window. From cameras, staff were able to determine the same car was involved. They reported the incident to the police.

“Had a market employee gone to work early to open the market, there could have been very serious injury,” a media release from the Tseshaht First Nation Council and Tseshaht Emergency Operations Centre states. “Tseshaht Market is owned by the Tseshaht First Nation and they have the right to put COVID-19 prevention measures in place to protect their staff and customers. People who do not like the protection measures are free to patronize another store.”

Tseshaht EOC Information Officer Hugh Braker said that Tseshaht will not tolerate the abuse of staff anywhere.

“There is no place for this type of behaviour in a civilized society,” he said. “Our staff and customers were exposed to unruly behaviour and assault. People must accept the measures we are taking in our community to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or they can stay away.”

RELATED: Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

RELATED: Victoria partiers hid in closets, bedrooms in an attempt to avoid fines

On Nov. 23, a 26-year-old male from Langley refused to put on a mask in the Campbell River Canadian Tire and openly mocked others in the store for wearing masks, Campbell River RCMP report.

Police attended and removed the male from the store, RCMP spokesperson Const. Maury Tyre said.

According to Tyre police have responded to several calls from local businesses and customers regarding individuals who refuse to follow the new provincial mask protocol. But as of 6 a.m. on Nov. 27, the Campbell River RCMP had yet to hand out any of the new COVID-19 face-covering fines, Const. Tyre said.

“Fines and arrests are absolutely the last action we want to be taking, but if people continue to push boundaries, it’s going to happen,” he said.

Police are reminding the segment of the public that chooses not to wear masks that there are other options to attain items they may be seeking in stores:

  • Online shopping
  • curbside pick-up
  • delivery

“I recognize there are dissenting opinions and multiple other concepts that can be found online regarding the present mask policies, but right now these are the rules and laws that are being applied equally across the province,” said Const. Tyre. “Being belligerent with a store employee who is just working to feed their family is not going to change the laws and is more than likely going to get you fined or arrested.”

Despite this and other incidents, store staff say the vast majority of customers wear their masks. A survey done one two-hour period in the evening discovered 98.6 per cent compliance.

In the end, people are doing their best in trying to deal with an ongoing pandemic that many people are frustrated by, Const. Tyre said.

“Keep that in mind and try to treat everyone with as much respect as you would want shown to you and your family,” he said.

If someone refuses to wear a mask, they are subject to a $230 fine. If they are belligerent to staff about it, that’s another $230 on top and if they refuse to leave the store, that’s another $230.

On top of that, acting out in public can be an arrestable offence know as Causing a Disturbance or Mischief (by act or omission) as it affects the lawful enjoyment of property.

“We encourage everyone to embrace Dr Henry’s thoughts on this being our time to ‘be kind, be calm and be safe,’” Tseshaht councillor Ken Watts said.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Saanich Peninsula

Just Posted

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits Nanoose Bay property

Experts say interesting look may simply be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

Smaller egg farmers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation when it comes to major producers and chain-grocery store shelf space. (Citizen file)
Vancouver Island egg producer cries foul over ‘Island’ label

Egg farmer frustrated with regulations allowing mainland-laid eggs to be labelled ‘Island’

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Most Read