Two Yukon University students whose violation of COVID-19 self-isolation requirements led to the school’s Whitehorse campus being closed for two days in September have been fined $700 each. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon University students fined $700 each for failing to self-isolate

Students had entered communal residence and Whitehorse campus, leading it to be closed for two days

Two Yukon University students whose violation of COVID-19 self-isolation requirements led to the school’s Whitehorse campus being closed for two days in September have been fined $700 each.

Honey Rain Catholique and Kyrsten Laurie Jonasson both pleaded guilty to two counts each under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) in territorial court in Whitehorse on Oct. 6 — failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to behave in accordance with a declaration form.

It was their first appearance on the charges.

According to facts read to the court by Crown attorney Kelly McGill, both women arrived at the check-stop in Watson Lake on Aug. 31.

They had travelled from the Northwest Territories, but, because they had driven through Alberta, were subject to a mandatory self-isolation period.

On their declarations, Catholique and Jonasson both wrote that they would be self-isolating at an address in Porter Creek; however, McGill said, neither of them actually went there, instead going directly to Yukon University’s student housing instead. They then stayed overnight before entering campus the next day, the first day of school, to collect their books.

McGill said they were flagged due to the university’s screening processes and CEMA officers began an investigation. When they spoke to Catholique and Jonasson, both initially denied that they’d spent time in Alberta but later admitted that they had, explaining that “difficulties” had arisen with the address in Porter Creek they had been planning to self-isolate at.

They were cooperative after that point and completed their self-isolations at a designated centre.

The Crown, McGill said, was seeking a $350 fine for each charge (the maximum penalty under CEMA is a $500 fine, six months’ jail time, or both). It was aggravating that Catholique and Jonasson entered a communal living area and then the university itself, she said, leading to “significant impacts” as the campus had to close as a precautionary measure after it was discovered the women hadn’t self-isolated.

However, it was mitigating that both women appeared in court on the first day possible and pleaded guilty, McGill said, also noting that they were students with limited financial resources.

Given a chance to address the court, Jonasson acknowledged that “a lot of matters” got “messy” because of her and Catholique’s decisions, and that she felt the fine being requested was a fair amount.

Catholique said she agreed with Jonasson, adding that she wanted to apologize for their actions.

“I’m sorry… I don’t have anything else to say,” she said.

Justice of the Peace Sharman Morrison accepted the Crown’s submissions, fining both women $700 each.

She waived a surcharge that normally would have been added on to each charge.

Catholique and Jonasson have a year to pay.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

CoronavirusYukon courtsYukon University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Whitehorse sewage lagoons photographed in 2011. With new regulations for wastewater anticipated to be introduced by the federal government within the next decade, the City of Whitehorse may soon be doing some prep work by looking at exactly what type of pollutants are making their way into the city’s wastewater. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Pondering pollutants

City could spend $70,000 looking at what contaminents are in waste water

Most of Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 graduates. The former students were welcomed back and honoured by staff at the school on Oct. 14 with a personalized grad ceremony for each graduate. (Submitted)
Individual Learning Centre grads honoured

Members of the Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 were welcomed… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

asdf
COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Evan Lafreniere races downhill during the U Kon Echelon Halloweeny Cross-Country Race on Oct. 16. (Inara Barker/Submitted)
Costumed bike race marks end of season

The U Kon Echelon Bike Club hosted its final race of the… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Most Read