B.C. Premier John Horgan had harsh words for a Vancouver couple who chartered a private jet to Yukon to get vaccinated from COVID-19.
Rodney Baker and wife Ekaterina flew to Beaver Creek in Yukon, reportedly posed as local workers, and received the Moderna vaccine.
Horgan told media Wednesday (January 27) that “there is nothing more un-Canadian than going to another jurisdiction to jump the line because you have the means to do so”.
“That was profoundly disappointing for me on a number of levels. You can’t measure the contempt British Columbians have for that individual taking those steps,” Horgan said.
The couple has paid a heavy personal price for their actions.
Baker stepped down as president and CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corp.
According to reports, Baker and his wife also face two charges for failing to self-isolate and follow a declaration.
They could face fines and possibly jail time.
On January 25, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked at a COVID-19 briefing about what she thinks of this incident.
“I think they should be ashamed of themselves,” Henry said. “They put a community at risk for their own benefit and that, to me, is appalling.”
In the January 27 interview with media, B.C. Premier Horgan said that the “vast majority” of British Columbians have been doing their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“While the fines are substantial for regular people, they’re not even a rounding error for millionaires who can charter jets to bump Indigenous elders off the list,” Horgan said.
“For those who disregard the rules, we’re going to be taking steps to do what we can to make sure that they feel the pain of trying to get outside the box that all of us have been in,” he added.
According to reports, Baker and wife Ekaterina were charged with violating Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act after it was discovered they flew from B.C. to a remote community.
“The individuals flying to Yukon was probably one of the most despicable things I’ve seen in a long time,” said B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
On January 27, Dr. Henry and B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix reported 485 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 65,719 cases in the province.
There are 4,299 active cases of COVID-19 in the province as of that date. Also, there are 303 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 74 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
As of January 27, there are 6,520 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and a further 58,778 people who tested positive have recovered.
To date, 124,365 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 4,160 of which are second doses.
Henry and Dix also reported on that date four new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,172 deaths in B.C.