Most fines for defying mandatory mask policy on Metro Vancouver transit unpaid


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Over $143,000 in tickets were handed out to people not wearing a mask when it was mandatory on Metro Vancouver transit, but the vast majority of those fines have not been paid.

Transit police data shared with NEWS 1130 shows 626 tickets were issued between November 2020 and the end of June 2021.

“Each provincial violation ticket carries a 230 dollar fine. Tickets that are written by the Metro Vancouver Transit Police are submitted to ICBC. We do not collect payment nor are we involved in follow-up for unpaid tickets,” says a spokesperson.

ICBC records show 245 tickets have been submitted to the Crown corporation. Fifteen of those have been paid — which works out to about 6 per cent. Eighteen tickets were being disputed, and 201 have been ignored.

Lawyer Kyla Lee says the number of unpaid tickets is not shocking.

“I think that what we’ve seen over the last 10 months that we’ve had masks on transit and in B.C/., is we’ve seen the type of people who are opposed to wearing masks on transit are the type of people who are generally defiant to any type of COVID-19, protections including vaccination and other social distancing measures,” she says.

“The fact that they’re not going to participate in the process of paying their tickets when they don’t agree with all of this — that doesn’t surprise me in any way.”