FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – A local retail store was issued a $2,300 ticket for not wearing masks after receiving several warnings. Fort St. John RCMP says the violation ticket is “the first of its kind issued in Fort St John”.

On Wednesday, Fort St. John RCMP received a report that staff at a retail store located on Sikanni Road had not been wearing masks when interacting with customers.

This was the second report filed against the location, which had been the subject of three previous complaints to the City of Fort St John Bylaw Department. In each complaint, bylaw officers had spoken with owners and staff.

“As an enforcement agency, our initial approach is to try to educate the public to gain compliance, no matter what the situation,” says Constable Chad Neustaeter, Media Relations Officer for the Fort St John RCMP.

“In this instance, there have been multiple attempts by various community partners to gain compliance from this store with no lasting solutions, so a violation ticket is being issued to the store.”

The Fort St John RCMP remind the public that businesses and organizers of events or gatherings can be issued a $2,300 violation ticket while individuals can be issued $230 violation ticket when they are not wearing masks in public or are belligerent when asked to wear them.

Between January 1st and February 24th, the detachment has received twenty-four COVID-19 related calls for service, ranging from individuals not wearing masks to public gatherings in households to large organized public gatherings. Police says the majority of these calls have been dealt with by providing verbal warnings and educating the public, resulting in their cooperation.