A man has been fined $1,150 under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) for declaring 24-hour transit through the territory, then staying at least 13 days.
Gerard Redinger was charged with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours.
Redinger appeared in territorial court by phone and pleaded guilty on Jan. 19.
According to the statement of facts, read by Crown attorney Kelly McGill, Redinger entered the Yukon via road on Aug. 29.
He signed a declaration with CEMA officers at the Watson Lake checkstop, indicating he intended to complete a U-turn and return to B.C. on Highway 37. He said he had recently travelled through B.C. and Alberta.
Because Redinger said he planned to immediately return to B.C., he was not required to self-isolate. Officers informed him that he must leave the Yukon within the next 24 hours, and isolate while travelling as much as possible.
On Sept. 11, officers received a tip that a vehicle had been left on the highway near Teslin. A note on the vehicle indicated that it belonged to Redinger, and included his phone number.
CEMA officers called Redinger at that number. Redinger shared that he was staying at the Wolf Creek campground, about 16 km south of Whitehorse.
Officers visited Redinger at the campground and confirmed that he had been in the Yukon since entering on Aug. 29, and had not immediately returned to B.C. as he had indicated.
McGill recommended that Redinger be fined $500 for each offence.
“These were quite deliberate offences and choices that Mr. Redinger made,” McGill said in court on Jan. 19.
“He was well aware of his obligation when he entered Watson Lake; he did not abide by the rules.”
McGill added that if Redinger’s plans changed, there were mechanisms that would enable him to legally remain in the Yukon. He could have informed CEMA officials, filled out a new declaration and self-isolated.
“Instead, he just flagrantly proceeded doing what he wanted to do,” McGill said.
McGill also noted that Redinger was breaking Yukon campground rules, as outside visitors were not permitted at camping sites this summer and there was ample signage explaining that rule. Officers could have charged Redinger with multiple offences, but exercised discretion in only charging him for two, she said.
Redinger did not speak in his own defence before the court. He agreed that the penalty was appropriate.
He was charged $500 for each offence plus a $75 surcharge, and granted six months to pay the fine.
Contact Gabrielle Plonka at firstname.lastname@example.org