Rally

The courts have ruled large protests against vaccines and the new BC Vaccination Card can take place but the City of Kelowna is fining event organizers for such things as having amplified music and selling items on public property without the necessary approval. A protest at Stuart Park in March is shown here.

Organizers of anti-vax protests in Kelowna may have the law on their side but they are still being fined for violating various city rules.

In the past three weeks, fines totaling $3,900 have been handed out to the Common Law Education and Rights Groups as well as people who identify themselves as organizers of the Freedom Rallies that take place regularly at Kerry Park.

Fines of $500 have been issued for conducting an event without permission, and there have been fines of $250 for permitting noise to emanate from electronic equipment, $100 for selling items, and $100 for promoting prohibited events with off-site signage.

The Supreme Court of B.C. earlier this year struck down a provincial public health order banning outdoor protests. As a result, city bylaw officers and police cannot prevent the outdoor protest gatherings from occurring.

"However, amplified entertainment, event tents, and product sales in city parks are not protests, and the appropriate bylaws are enforced when these kinds of organized events are held without appropriate permits," the city said in a Wednesday release.

The release also said Kelowna RCMP will respond if troubles arise next week when local businesses begin trying to enforce usage of the new B.C. vaccination card.

It will be required as of Monday to enter restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, and buildings where services to the public are provided.

"The RCMP will respond if there is an imminent threat or potential for immediate harm," the city release stated.

Businesses which don't enforce usage of the vaccination card among their customers will first get a visit from bylaw officers to "educate and attempt to get voluntary compliance", the city says.

"In cases of non-compliance, bylaw services will engage the appropriate enforcement agencies, such as Environmental Health officers, WorkSafeBC, or other provincial peace officers with the legislated authority to respond," the city says.