Many pandemic fines have yet to be paid, stats from Halifax police reveal
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia may be opening up but Halifax Regional Police (HRP) are still receiving hundreds of COVID related calls.
This month alone, officers have responded to 500 calls for COVID-related issues.
"Even though it does sound like a significant number of calls, the calls for service we are having tend to be going down. They tend to follow those peaks and valleys that we see with COVID itself," said Const. John MacLeod, spokesperson for the police force.
Nova Scotia first declared a state of emergency last March. Since that time, HRP have issued 455 tickets under both the Health Protection and Emergency Management Acts.
MacLeod says the most common things people have been ticketed for include people not wearing masks when they're supposed to, failing to self-isolate or exceeding mandated gathering limits.
As of July 26, here is the breakdown for how many tickets have been issued under both the Health Protection and Emergency Management Acts in Nova Scotia.
Health Protection Act
Total number of tickets issued: 1059
- Quashed, withdrawn, dismissed, or acquitted: 135
- Pending: 697
- Person deceased: 3
- Paid in full: 153
- Partially paid: 12
- Not yet paid: 59
Emergency Management Act
Total number of tickets issued : 271
- Quashed, withdrawn, dismissed, or acquitted: 59
- Pending: 127
- Paid in full: 63
- Partially paid: 2
- Not yet paid: 20
"It is interesting the large number that have been either acquitted or withdrawn," said lawyer David Fraser.
"I would be looking for a better breakdown, how many people have been found innocent, that's what an acquittal is and how many circumstances have the Crown said we're not going to proceed with this."
Fraser says he would like to see more context to go with the numbers; like what were the exact offences and how many businesses have been charged.
"Where have these tickets been issued, what do the recipients look like?" said Fraser.
Additional information about the tickets issued has been requested. The Department of Justice says it should be available by the end of the week.
In New Brunswick, there were 866 pandemic related tickets issued between March 2020 and July 2021.
Of the 539 tickets were filed in provincial court, 339 resulted in a conviction, 71 were withdrawn and five resulted in an acquittal. There are still 124 tickets before the courts.
321 of the 339 convictions resulted in finestotalling$86,794.50.
Officials say of the 327 remaining tickets, most would have been paid without attending court while some would have been withdrawn.
In New Brunswick, the minimum fine was originally $292.50 before moving to $580.50.