A decision in the case of the southern couple who allegedly broke quarantine rules to sneak into a vaccine clinic in Beaver Creek has been delayed by two weeks.
In court May 4, the lawyer representing Ekaterina Baker and Rodney Baker requested the case be adjourned until May 18. The judge allowed the adjournment after Crown attorney Kelly McGill said they had no objections to the delay.
McGill said the parties are currently “in discussions” about the case.
Janet VanderMeer, a White River First Nation member and volunteer in the COVID working group for the community, drove from Beaver Creek to Whitehorse to be present for the first appearance.
“So it’s just frustrating, it’s a long way to come for nothing,” she said. “At the same time, I’m just glad that it’s not thrown out. I think my fear was coming here and the government pulling away, and saying, ‘It’s not that big of a deal.’”
“I want to be there and I want to see them on the Zoom. I want to even have an opportunity to say ‘What you’ve done is unacceptable and we’re going to make you an example,’” she said.
VanderMeer said the First Nation was in touch with the Bakers’ lawyer in order to confirm negative COVID-19 test results, but otherwise, the community has not heard from the Bakers regarding an apology or efforts to make amends for endangering the lives of elders in Beaver Creek.
Right now the couple is facing two charges each for breaking the Civil Emergency Measures Act. The charges have a punishment of up to $1,150 in fines for each of the accused. While CEMA also provides for a sentence of up to six months in jail, it’s unclear if that is a possibility under the tickets that were written on Jan. 21.
“I think they need the maximum and maybe to have a criminal record that follows them. They made a decision. Like I said before, they were in a room with the most vulnerable people in our community, they were able to see these vulnerable people, and they continued to act on it,” VanderMeer said.
Contact Haley Ritchie at email@example.com