‘We need to step it up’: Pallister beefs up targeted enforcement amid concerns of people flouting health orders

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s premier said the province is beefing up targeted enforcement to ensure Manitobans are following a new round of health orders amid concerns some are flouting the rules.

On Sunday, an anti-mask rally prompted The Forks to close as people gathered to protest public health orders. In a statement on Sunday, The Forks said it was not asked for permission by anyone to host the rally, and said it would close for the day in an abundance of caution.

Winnipeg police said officers were at the rally to monitor the situation, but did not say how many officers were there.

On Monday, Premier Brian Pallister said tickets were issued to people but did not have any more information about it.

“I am very concerned that we have a minority flouting public health orders again, and that has happened at various points throughout this pandemic,” Pallister said.

“We’ve endeavoured to beef up enforcement on several occasions – now we need to target it to those areas where we know there are higher incidences of COVID outbreaks.”

With new health orders being imposed across the province, Pallister said enforcement will also be enhanced in retail big box stores, patios, restaurants, and at recreation events. He said there will be more surveillance on self-isolation requirements as well to make sure people are following the rules.

“I agree that enforcement is a concern, and I agree very much that we need to step it up,” Pallister said.

“We’ve seen violations of public health orders too many times and there needs to be consequences there.”

Pallister urged Manitobans to follow the health orders, and said the orders only work if Manitobans follow them.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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