RCMP taking educational approach to COVID-19 violations in Sun Peaks

File photo.

Local RCMP officers have not handed out any ticket related to COVID-19 in Sun Peaks, with an RCMP spokesperson saying that it has so far taken an educational approach. 

“The Tk’emlups RCMP Detachment has responded to several complaints specific to Covid-19,” said Const. Crystal Evelyn, in an email to Sun Peaks Independent News. “Most of the reports have been around short-term rental properties booking groups that include more than just their guest’s usual household family members.” 

Evelyn said the RCMP has taken an “educational approach to discussing the requirements with guests” as well as property owners. 

“[They] share in the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the provincial health orders,” said Evelyn. 

Evelyn added that RCMP have worked closely with Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality on COVID-related issues. The municipality provides regular updates on rental and occupancy rates, which have allowed the Tk’emlups RCMP detachment, which oversees the area, to schedule additional patrols at busy periods. 

Last month, the province effectively doubled the fine for promoting or attending a non-compliance gathering, from $230 to $575. 

Hosts of such gatherings can face a fine of $2,300. 

Indoor gatherings with people outside of your household is currently prohibited in B.C., with some exceptions including for those who live at home. 

Outdoor gatherings are permitted as long as there are 10 or fewer people in attendance.

Correction notice: A previous version of this story stated the constable’s name incorrectly. It has been updated to Const. Crystal Evelyn.

Joel Barde is a reporter hired with funding from the Local Journalism Initiative, a federal program created to support “original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada.” His writing is focused on the tourism industry in the Thompson Okanagan from the resident perspective.

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