West Vancouver gathering at business results in $2,300 COVID-19 fine

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      While much concern in B.C. was focussed on preventing New Year’s Eve parties from contributing to a surge in COVID-19 cases, some Lower Mainland residents have continued to party on after the holiday season—and one individual wound up having to pay for it.

      The West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD) stated in a news release issued on January 14 that officers responded to a report of a loud party in the 1400 block of Clyde Avenue at 11:20 p.m. on January 8.

      The complainant had reported hearing loud music and voices from a ground-level business. 

      Upon arrival at the location, officers found three intoxicated individuals standing outside and could hear voices coming from inside the business.

      The trio denied that a party was underway and wouldn’t provide the number of people inside. One of the individuals said that the other people were his clients.

      “This seems to be a situation where the attendees thought because they were in business together, that they were not subject to the restrictions as set out in the provincial gatherings and events order,” WVPD spokesperson Const. Kevin Goodmurphy explained in a news release. “While work-related meetings are allowed under certain circumstances, given what officers observed at the scene, they opted to take enforcement action.”

      Because the host would not cooperate with police and refused to ask the other people to leave, officers remained at the location and observed the three guests leave the business.

      Police issued a $2,300 fine to the 40-year-old host for contravening the public health order on gatherings and events.

      Since March 1, the WVPD has issued eight tickets under the COVID-related Measures Act and 10 tickets under the Quarantine Act.

      Among the incidents, West Vancouver officers issued a $230 fine to a party promoter for holding a party at a British Properties residence on August 28 with over 200 guests where fights broke out. The party organizer, who is believed to have fled before police arrived, was not located.

      On Halloween night, WVPD officers responded to several reports of house parties, resulting in fines, as well as a gathering of over 300 youths at a school.

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