Kelowna church receives second fine for in-person service

Church hit with 2nd fine

A Kelowna church that has refused to cancel in-person services in accordance with B.C.'s public health orders has received yet another visit from local authorities and another fine.

RCMP tells Castanet they issued the Kelowna Harvest Fellowship a second violation ticket for violating the ban on in-person church services.

The fine was issued on Sunday morning after Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a group of people gathering at a place of worship in the 1600-block of Harvey Avenue in Kelowna. The complaint was investigated and a representative of the congregation was issued a violation ticket in the amount of $2,300 for failure to comply with an order of a Health Officer.

"I want to reiterate that now is not the time to gather for any reason and put yourself or the community at risk." says Supt. Kara Triance.

"We have reported this continued violation to the provincial health authorities and we continue to work with the BC Prosecution Service as we actively investigate and take action on reports of non-compliance with the provincial health orders. We are asking our community to take the necessary steps to protect one another and care for all by not gathering in groups at this time."

After the first fine, Pastor Heather Lucier told Castanet they have no plans to stop future in-person services and that they will fight the tickets in court.

Health authorities have said the ban on in-person church services is necessary because COVID-19 transmission has occurred in the setting, including one such local example of an outbreak at the Kelowna Calvary Chapel in October prior to the ban.

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