Whitehorse Daily Star

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Students are fined $700 each for not isolating themselves

Two Yukon University students have been fined $700 each for failing to self-isolate before moving into campus housing last month.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 13, 2020

Two Yukon University students have been fined $700 each for failing to self-isolate before moving into campus housing last month.

Honey Rain Catholique, 22, and Kyrsten Laurice Jonasson, 25, pleaded guilty in territorial court on Oct. 6.

The pair violated two orders under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA): the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and the requirement to adhere to the declaration they presented to CEMA officers.

The university campus closed from Sept. 1-4 after it was revealed the two students had moved into campus housing without isolating. 

According to a statement of facts read by Crown attorney Kelly McGill, Catholique and Jonasson arrived at the Watson Lake border checkpoint on Aug. 31.

The pair had driven through Alberta from the N.W.T. Their time in Alberta meant they were instructed by CEMA officers to provide a declaration with plans to self-isolate for 14 days.

Catholique and Jonasson declared that they would self-isolate at a residence in Porter Creek, but their permanent address would be campus housing at Yukon University. 

Catholique and Jonasson then moved immediately into campus housing, where they stayed overnight.

The next day, Catholique and Jonasson entered the main campus to collect their books on the first day of classes.

They were flagged and reported to CEMA officers. An investigation revealed that the two students had spent several days in Alberta before entering the Yukon.

They were aware they had to self-isolate but they “had issues with the residence where they thought they could self-isolate, and it was no longer an option for them,” McGill said.

Catholique and Jonasson were then taken to a self-isolation centre, where they completed a 14-day quarantine period.

The Crown sought a $350 fine for each violation – failing to self-isolate and acting against their declaration – to a total of $700 each.

The maximum penalty under CEMA is a $500 fine, six months’ jail-time, or both.

McGill said there are some aggravating factors in this case.

First, the pair went into a communal living environment on the university campus.

Second, they entered the university itself on the first day of classes – resulting in a campus closure.

“There was some significant impact to their actions,” McGill said.

Mitigating factors include the pair pleading guilty in court at the earliest opportunity, accepting responsibility for their actions and showing remorse for them.

Catholique and Jonasson were apologetic when given the opportunity to address the court.

“The matter got messy because of our decisions,” Jonasson said.

“I feel like it’s a fair amount.”

Justice of the Peace Sharman Morrison fined the pair $700 each and waived the surcharges.

She said she has taken the pair’s financial circumstances into consideration, as they are both students and don’t work full-time. She also noted that Jonasson is the mother of a young child.

Morrison gave the pair one year to pay the $700 fine. She advised that they could pay the fine incrementally, in small instalments.

If Catholique and Jonasson aren’t able to pay the fine within one year, they can apply for an extension, Morrison said.

The Yukon’s road borders have been monitored by enforcement officers since self-isolation restrictions came into place under CEMA on April 6.

Travellers are required to fill out a declaration with plans for self-isolation if they are travelling to the Yukon from outside the North or B.C.

There has been a total of 13 people charged and 18 charges laid under CEMA as of Oct. 7.

Enforcement officers have fielded 887 complaints since the measures came into place, including 496 complaints of individuals failing to self-isolate.

Comments (16)

Up 15 Down 6

Crunch on Oct 16, 2020 at 5:18 pm

@ My Opinion
The paving situation is a good one but unfortunately for the Hanley crew there are many others. Deemed essential service was the out to not have to deal with irate contractors trying to do government work. And the charade continues. If certain people in government are not embarassed by the fining of these girls then Lord help us all.

Up 10 Down 4

Josey Wales on Oct 16, 2020 at 2:20 am

Hey MO...might I chime that your participation here today is awesome?
mean not to make ya feel dirty, but your comment on the paving crew...effin gold!

Yes MO it is possible that two participants diametric often in POV, can using facts and logic...see the same lunacy.
Even BnR has put out a few lately that read that way...I am the same...what gives I wonder? Patti going to chime in announcing the freezing over of hell now too?
please MO, carry on.

Up 5 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Oct 15, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Apologies Anie - A misfire, like you, my comment was intended for Mack.

Up 24 Down 4

My Opinion on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:33 pm

Yet YTG gave a pass to the large paving crew that came in from Alberta for paving by the Airport to compete with Skookum. No quarantine what so ever. Deemed by GOVERNMENT to be essential.

Up 10 Down 1

Anie on Oct 15, 2020 at 12:48 pm

Groucho, the answer, of course, is yes. What's your point?

Up 14 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Oct 15, 2020 at 11:59 am

If I shoot at somebody and miss, did I still commit an offence?
This new age logic is baffling.

Up 11 Down 14

Groucho d'North on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:34 am

This penalty is inconsistent with the Liberal view to handing out penalties for violations of the law. I expect they were looking to send a message that they demand compliance to their orders or it will be tough for the violaters. So these two became the whipping posts for us all to see and learn from. Perhaps the courts will catch-up to this new approach to applying punishment appropriate to the crime- this failing to isolate example was a bit Big Brotherish though.

Up 35 Down 5

The fine was warranted on Oct 15, 2020 at 8:58 am

I'm happy they were fined. They LIED, period. And regardless of them thinking they are fine or not, it's not up to them to put everyone else at risk for their poor decisions. It also led to many staff not working for 2 days--that cost the taxpayers a ton of money.

What if they were positive, then what? Then people would say they should have had a heftier fine.

Up 14 Down 23

JohnW on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:51 pm

They should refuse to pay and get Legal Aid to defend them. Let the govt fight itself. The govt's recent autocratic misconduct must be exposed in the courts and challenged.

Up 26 Down 9

Anie on Oct 14, 2020 at 4:28 pm

Max Mack, so if someone exceeds the speed limit, but there's no accident, they should not be ticketed?

Up 13 Down 25

Dave on Oct 14, 2020 at 2:02 pm

There is nothing to fear but government sanctioned fear itself. How much more control will the government award itself and how much freedom will the populace surrender all in the name of a virus? Lord help us if there was a real emergency in this territory.

Up 21 Down 42

Max Mack on Oct 14, 2020 at 6:59 am

Don't agree with the fines. Much ado about nothing and government tyranny at its finest.
Neither student tested positive for COVID, or this would be big news. There was no threat to anyone. Repeat - there was no actual threat to anyone.

Up 15 Down 36

Nathan Living on Oct 14, 2020 at 1:27 am

The sentence seems heavy handed, why not community service as a way of paying an equivalent to the fine.
Almost seems like they are being picked on.

Up 25 Down 17

Unfeckingbelievable! on Oct 13, 2020 at 11:10 pm

How about this?!?! Everyone who is caught violating the Covid rules will be required to pay everyone else’ share of the taxes to cover this Liberal disaster... Seems fair to me!

Up 16 Down 40

JohnW on Oct 13, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Was it proven that they were infectious? If they tested negative then they posed no actual hazard, and the fines are egregious. This LIB govts autocratic overreach without oversight and debate is appalling. The LIB gov actions have been an affront to the democratic process we voted for.

Up 41 Down 11

Nice on Oct 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm

Soooooo. They paid $700 to stay in a hotel for 2 weeks with the taxpayers picking up the rest of the tab?

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