Transport Canada issues first $1,000 mask fines

OTTAWA — Transport Canada has issued the first fines in Canada for contravening the Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19.

Two travellers have been fined $1,000 each for refusing to follow the direction from the air crew to wear their face coverings.

On June 14 there was an incident on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Waterloo, ON.

On July 7 there was another incident on a WestJet flight from Vancouver to Calgary.

Transport Canada says that in both cases, the passengers were directed repeatedly by the air crew to wear their face coverings during the flights. In both cases, the individuals refused.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, public health authorities, and the Canadian aviation industry — including operators, airports and labour groups – have worked collaboratively to implement measures to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the travelling public,” says a notice today from Transport Canada.

“Under the interim order, all travellers must have a face covering with them prior to boarding. Travellers must wear their face coverings at all time while boarding, during the flight and from the moment the doors of the aircraft are opened until the person enters the air terminal building when they are two metres or less from another person.”

Some exemptions to the mask-wearing rule apply, such as while eating, drinking and taking oral medicine.

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