Opponents of public-health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 are planning one of their largest rallies yet in downtown Vancouver.
The B.C. Grand Freedom Rally is scheduled to take place on Saturday (February 20) from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
It includes a one-hour dance in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Like other similar events, it will be launched with the national anthem, sang by Mark Donnelly. He used to do this for the Vancouver Canucks before the team severed ties with him for attending rallies like this.
A poster on Facebook advertising the rally states that “Real Medical Experts” will unveil truths about COVID-19 and vaccines.
To date, Vancouver police have declined to fine organizers of antimask rallies in downtown Vancouver, unlike the RCMP in Kelowna.
Regardless, relatively few fines have been collected from those who've violated provincial health orders or refused to comply with police officers' orders in connection with them.
According to ICBC, $659,410 worth of fines has been imposed after 1,058 tickets were issued from August 21, 2020 to February 12, 2021.
As of February 14, only $34,956.66 has been paid in connection with these provincial offences.
That's less than five percent of the entire total owed.
Most Quarantine Act fines also unpaid
The following totals of provincial fines have been issued in these areas:
* $391,000 for violating provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's order on gatherings and events;
* $71,300 for contravening the PHO Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order;
* and $197,110 for refusing to comply with direction from law enforcement.
ICBC has statutory authority to collect COVID-19 fines. In addition, ICBC collects fines imposed under the federal Quarantine Act.
Of the $102,695 in fees owed in B.C. for violating the national legislation, just $11,800 has been collected. That amounts to just over 11 percent.
There's always going to be a gap between the amount owed and the amount collected because anyone accused of violating COVID-19 orders has 30 days to dispute the ticket.
However, with less than five percent paid out of the provincial total, it's likely that a fair number of offenders have decided, at least for now, not to pay their fines.
Sovereign citizen will appear on Rebel Media
Meanwhile, one of the more influential members in Canada's antimask movement, Christopher James, has said over social media that he will be interviewed by Ezra Levant on the right-wing Rebel Media site.
James, who lives in Burlington, Ontario, is part of the so-called sovereign citizen movement and has given advice to others charged, including B.C. yogi Mak Parhar.
In November, Parhar was charged with violating the Quarantine Act after returning to New Westminster from the United States.
Last April, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth called Parhar an "idiot" after he posted video of himself entering Royal Columbian Hospital to investigate the validity of COVID-19.