Three Winnipeg businesses fined $5K for breaking COVID-19 health orders

WINNIPEG — The same day new health orders came into effect in Winnipeg, three businesses were handed hefty fines for allegedly breaking the rules.

On Monday, Bar Italia Café, located at 737 Corydon Ave., was handed a $5,000 ticket for serving liquor to patrons at the restaurant.

The fine was issued on the first day code red restrictions came into effect in Winnipeg, forcing all restaurants and bars to close, allowing take-out, drive-thru and delivery service only.

The Pony Corral Restaurant and Bar was also fined $5,000 on Monday under the health orders issued on Oct. 19. The province said the restaurant did not make sure patrons left the premises by 11 p.m. as required by the restrictions. It also said patrons were not seated and were dancing.

The Pembina Hotel, which is listed as a food service establishment according to the province, was the third business listed that was fined on Monday, receiving a $5,000 ticket for failing to make sure patrons were out of the business by 11 p.m.

These are the first businesses to be fined since the province more than doubled the financial penalty for breaking health orders in October. The tickets for businesses caught breaking the rules was previously $2,542.

READ MORE: Manitoba increasing fines for not following public health orders

This comes after Premier Brian Pallister said the province will be stepping up enforcement of the public health orders.

“We have stepped up enforcement, but not enough. Clearly not enough,” Pallister told reporters on Monday.

“The number of tickets that are going out is too low in my estimation. We have to make sure that the enforcement is demonstrable and real, and so people actually understand there’s a deterrent there for bad behavior.”

Pallister said more information about increased enforcement will be coming later this week.

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