More than six months into pandemic, Saskatoon police investigate more than 850 compliance complaints, no tickets issued

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Saskatoon city police have issued no tickets for violations of the provincial public health order enacted at the outset of Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Police have received 861 calls about suspected non-compliance. Spokeswoman Kelsie Fraser said in an email that the fact police haven’t yet issued a ticket “speaks to the compliance that we are seeing when we do have to attend to one of these calls.”

A $2,000 fine levied against the organizer of a social gathering earlier this month that exceeded the 30-person limit — it was attended by 47 people — was issued by health officials, not police. The gathering was linked to at least 21 COVID-19 cases.

It was the first ticket issued to an individual by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, according to the Ministry of Health.

Police in Saskatoon have responded to complaints about compliance with both provincial health orders and the federal quarantine act. Early in the pandemic, most of the calls to police were about the size of gatherings and public health act violations, but the majority of complaints now relate to the federal quarantine act, Fraser said.

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