Be kind out there.
Officials in Alberta are introducing heftier fines to protect employees on the frontlines from confrontations with customers.
During a press conference on Thursday, October 7, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the government will be "doubling the maximum fine for mistreating public-facing workers."
This means the current maximum fine of $2,000 will now jump to $4,000.
"We've heard instances of individuals that are not in favour of vaccinations, that aren't in favour of providing that ID, going in and harassing workers on the frontline and in small businesses across Alberta," said Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer during the press conference. "We want to send a strong signal that that type of behaviour will not be tolerated in Alberta. We don't accept it, it's not a part of our culture, we condemn it."
It was also announced during the conference that Alberta will be introducing new legislation to protect businesses from legal challenges when it comes to requiring vaccinations for employees or implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program.
And businesses will be getting more support from the government in the form of a grant. Officials plan to introduce a one-time payment of $2,000 for small to medium-sized businesses that choose to implement the province's vaccine passport program.
Kenney said that eligible businesses will be able to use the funding however they see fit, but it will take about four to six weeks for it to be in place.
The province is currently battling a fourth wave of COVID-19. Earlier this week, the government introduced further restrictions for outdoor gatherings ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend.