Air travellers who refused to wear masks faced a variety of penalties.👇💰
New data released by Transport Canada shows that over 1,500 air passengers in Canada refused to wear masks on their flights last year. And if you're curious, the data also shows what happened to those passengers.
Of the 1,594 recorded instances of mask non-compliance between January and December 2021, only about 30 monetary fines were actually given out.
While this doesn't sound like many, Transport Canada told Narcity that each one ranged from $700 to $5,000, which means those who were fined had to cough up a big chunk of change.
Giving out fines isn’t the only course of action taken last year.As many as 501 letters of non-compliance and 428 letters of notification were given out to air passengers who wouldn't wear a face covering.
All travellers on a plane, train or ship within Canada must wear a face mask for the duration of your journey. Unless exempt, failure to do so may result in fines of up to $5,000.\n\nLearn more: http://ow.ly/q0mr50GHkOJ\u00a0 #COVID19pic.twitter.com/Jy6eoDFP1K— Transport Canada (@Transport Canada) 1642446068
If you're not up on the inner workings of Transport Canada and what sets these letters apart, we've got your back.
A letter of notification is a document that outlines Canada's mask-wearing rules, as well as the potential penalties for not following them. According to Transport Canada, they are considered to be warnings but an investigation does not usually follow.
"Letters of notification are typically sent in cases where there is a significant lack of evidence, or if we have determined that the infraction is so minor that taking up valuable resources and conducting a full investigation is not in the public’s best interest," the agency told Narcity.
A letter of non-compliance, on the other hand, is issued when a full investigation has taken place and the subject is found to have committed an infraction. Usually, in these cases it is determined that a monetary penalty is not warranted.
However, a Transport Canada spokesperson confirmed that these are not a set-in-stone sequence.
"First time violators are not always given a letter of warning," they said, adding that the Minister of Transport can impose financial penalties even for a first offence.
"For some of the more egregious situations when a passenger is deemed to be “unruly,” law enforcement may be required to intervene. In these circumstances, a monetary penalty can be levied in addition to possible criminal charges."
As of January 2022, the current Transport Canada rules for air travel require all passengers to wear a mask for the duration of the flight, as well as in all Canadian airports and common areas. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a valid exemption are also required to catch a flight.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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