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Nova Scotia church and congregation fined for violating health rules a second time


May 18, 2021
By Canadian Press

May 18, 2021 – For the second consecutive Sunday, a church in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley has been handed a stiff fine for violating public health orders.

The Nova Scotia RCMP confirm they issued a $11,622 fine to the Weston Christian Fellowship Church and fined seven churchgoers $2,422 each.

On May 9, the Mounties fined 26 people and the church for breaking the rules.

The province has been subject to a strict lockdown order since April 28, when it became clear the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had reached the Maritimes. Under the new rules, all faith-based gatherings are prohibited.

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On May 2, the RCMP warned parishioners they could face fines under the province’s Health Protection Act. At the time, the RCMP used its discretion to issue warnings because the new rules had just come into effect.

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, has said the government understands the importance of faith-based gatherings, but he said the spread of the virus can be reduced by preventing people from attending large gatherings.

The church is in Weston, N.S., which is west of Wolfville, N.S.

The latest church fines come a day after Halifax Regional Police made multiple arrests on Citadel Hill when protesters defied a court injunction against the planned gathering.

Nova Scotia reported 212 new cases of COVID-19 on the weekend. On Saturday, the province’s daily case count dropped below 100 for the first time since May 1.

As of Sunday, Nova Scotia had 1,531 active reported cases of COVID-19 and 92 people were in hospital with the disease, including 21 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.


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