No B.C. businesses fined for lack of compliance during COVID-19 pandemic

WatchThe pandemic changed everyday life for millions of British Columbians. And it's changed, dramatically, the way we do business. But as Mary Griffin reports, it's surprising how the public and businesses have responded.

There are thousands of businesses operating through the COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island and none have been fined for breaking B.C.’s COVID-19 operating rules, according to Island Health’s chief medical health officer.

“Our environmental health officers have been involved in I would suggest 1,000 plus situations, not of complaints, but trying to work with businesses in terms of what the expectations are. And we certainly have responded to a number of complaints,” Dr. Richard Stanwick said.

New numbers obtained by CHEK News reveal 120 complaints made concerning businesses not playing by the rules. But while Island Health completed 1,800 inspections during the pandemic so far, they haven’t handed out any penalties.

Despite those numbers, it doesn’t mean people are not wary. Since the start of the province’s state of emergency, the number of calls to WorkSafeBC’s advice lineis through the roof, according to the Head of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC, Al Johnson.

“Since Phase 1, 2 and 3, about over the last 12 weeks or so, as of July 24th, we’ve had about 13,000 inquiries to that line,” he said.

Since March, WorkSafe BC completed 14,000 inspections across B.C., trying for compliance rather than shutting down workplaces.

“Out of 14,000 inspections, 400 times our officers saw it was important to write an order to the employer to do something different. Fix it. To make it better, if you will,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: B.C. reports 29 new cases of COVID-19, no new cases in Island Health

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