COVID-19 in B.C.: Vancouver police shut down New Year's Eve party at restaurant with 100 people

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      Although B.C. had one of its quietest New Year’s Eves last night, it wasn’t without some incidents of people defying COVID-19 health measures.

      The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) stated today (January 1) that around 11 p.m. on December 31, police received a complaint about a private party being held at an unidentified restaurant near Granville and Davie streets. The VPD is not specifying the name or address of the venue.

      When officers arrived, they estimated there were about 100 people at the premises, and both food and alcohol were being served.

      The B.C. provincial health order announced on December 30 prohibited the sale of alcohol after 8 p.m. on December 31.

      Officers issued a $2,300 ticket to the owner and police shut down the party.

      Elsewhere downtown, Hugs Over Masks activists gathered on the north side of Vancouver Art Gallery for an event dubbed the NYE Freedom Rally Dance Party.

      When one woman at the event began climbing a statue, officers arrested her. As they were escorting her off the property, she bit one of the officers. She has consequently been charged with assaulting an officer.

      Meanwhile in Victoria, a taxi driver called 911 to report a passenger refused to wear a mask, was touching the driver’s face, and would not comply with the driver’s request to obey provincial health guidelines.

      The driver drove the taxi to the Victoria Police Department where the passenger refused to comply with requests from officers for him to leave the vehicle.

      After he was removed from the taxi and taken into custody, he was charged with three COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CMRA) fines—for failing to wear a facial covering, abusive or belligerent behaviour, and failing to comply with the direction of an officer.

      Each fine was $230, for a total of $690.

      In addition, he was fined for being intoxicated in a public place and was kept in jail until sober.

      This was the largest number of CRMA fines issued to one individual by Victoria police.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.