FILE – People walk across a street in Banff, Alta., in Banff National Park, Friday, July 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Kentucky man faces $750K fine for breaking Canadian quarantine rules in Alberta Rockies

Quarantine Act charge came after initial fine, warning

A Kentucky man could face a fine of up to $750,000 or six months in jail for allegedly violating a quarantine order in the Alberta Rockies in late June.

John Pennington, 40, was initially given a $1,200 ticket on June 25 after staff at a Banff hotel called the RCMP saying they believed the United States citizen was violating the Alberta Public Health Act during the COVID-19 pandemic.

American visitors have been able to use a loophole allowing them to travel through Canada on the way to and from Alaska.

“RCMP attended the hotel and as a result of their investigation, they found a second individual in his presence, a female from Calgary, and found him to be breaching the requirements to quarantine while he travelled through Alberta so he was issued a ticket under the Alberta Public Health Act,” said RCMP Cpl. Tammy Keibel in Calgary.

She said officers received a second complaint the next day after someone spotted a car with American plates in a parking lot near the gondola to Sulphur Mountain.

“They located Mr. Pennington up on Sulphur Mountain. As a result of him again allegedly being in violation of the quarantine through his travels, there was some consultation with a quarantine officer in Calgary and the decision was made to charge Mr. Pennington under the federal Quarantine Act,” Keibel said.

“He was arrested and subsequently released for a court date in November.”

Keibel said there were nine tickets given out in Alberta by the end of June and the one charge under the Quarantine Act but she wasn’t aware of any others.

She said those violating the rules are given strict instructions and Pennington had received a warning after his initial ticket.

“You don’t expect it. You would hope people would follow the direction provided and comply with the laws in place, especially after it was made clear what the expectations are,” she said.

Keibel said Pennington was escorted out of the park boundaries and told to continue on his journey.

Stricter rules were put into place as of July 31 for Americans entering Canada who say they are headed to Alaska.

The Canada Border Services Agency only allows such travellers to enter at one of five crossings: Abbotsford-Huntingdon (British Columbia), Kingsgate (British Columbia), Osoyoos (British Columbia), Coutts (Alberta) and North Portal (Saskatchewan).

Drivers are allowed a reasonable period of stay to make the transit and are limited to travel within Canada using the most direct route to Alaska.

They are barred from driving through national parks, leisure sites and tourism locations and receive a hang tag for their rear-view mirror indicating the date they must depart Canada.

READ MORE: RCMP hand out $8,400 in fines to U.S. travellers stopped at Banff National Park

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

AlbertaBanffCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Sarah Simpson Column: Mistakes will happen but kindness prevails

You know those jerks who always follow the trail directions wrong? I… Continue reading

New ACT team will help Cowichan residents struggling with mental health issues

The Cowichan Valley ACT team will be one of six new teams being created across the province.

Duncan man at large after massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Bob Day making another run for mayor of Lake Cowichan

Day has served 10 years as town councillor

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read