Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is calling out a group of “poker grinches” whose gathering of 10 people was disbanded by police on Nov. 14 because he worries their behaviour could ruin the holiday season for all. (Pixabay)

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is calling out a group of “poker grinches” whose gathering of 10 people was disbanded by police on Nov. 14 because he worries their behaviour could ruin the holiday season for all. (Pixabay)

Mayor worries Saanich ‘poker grinches’ will steal holiday season

Police break up poker game for pandemic violations, issue $2,300 ticket

After Saanich police broke up a gathering of 10 “poker grinches” violating public health orders on Saturday, Mayor Fred Haynes is calling for more responsible behaviour to save the holiday season.

Haynes was disappointed to hear police had to break up a poker game of more than six players at a residence in Broadmead over the weekend. Officers attended the home on Nov. 14 – the second time at the same residence since October – to disband the gathering.

Police issued a COVID-19 Related Measures Act violation ticket for $2,300 to the host of the poker game for having more than six guests gather in a private residence.

READ ALSO: Saanich homeowner fined $2,300 for poker game with 10 guests

“It is shocking to me that after a previous warning by the police” the homeowner chose to host a poker game with 10 guests, Haynes said. “This is unacceptable behaviour.”

Not only are these “irresponsible” gatherings “a drain on [police] resources,” but they also potentially expose officers to COVID-19, Haynes said.

He figures the $2,300 fine isn’t enough and that guests who choose to attend gathering should be fined as well.

READ ALSO: Christmas will be different even if Santa is ‘probably’ immune to COVID, says B.C. top doctor

Haynes worries the people who ignore public health orders “will be the grinches that wreck Christmas,” noting the Island has lower coronavirus case numbers as a result of careful behaviour.

The best Christmas gift, he feels, would be getting the COVID-19 numbers down to zero so residents have a chance to see a small number of family members over the holidays.

READ ALSO: Canada still in ‘incredibly serious’ situation with COVID-19, Trudeau says

Haynes advises against unsafe gatherings as a way to get case numbers down for the holidays, but he also emphasized the importance of taking other precautions such as wearing masks when shopping indoors and ordering online when possible.

The mayor recommends those who don’t want to comply with mask policies avoid going inside businesses because it puts staff and other customers at risk. He admitted that he too is “fed up” with COVID-19 and related restrictions, but noted that they’re “the reality we’re working with.”

Not only is it considerate to others, but it may just save Christmas, Haynes said.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak hits first Greater Victoria hospital

Island Health declares outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Athletes with Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s open men’s staff head out on a high-tech outrigger canoe. The club raised more than $16,500 at its 2020 Wetdasche event. (Courtesy of Fairway Gorge Paddling Club)
Victoria paddling group breaks fundraising record

Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s 2020 Wetdashe event raises more than $16,500

Greater Victoria 4-H club member Sava Bell is all smiles holding some of the garden fresh ingredients he used to make his award-winning dish for the Field to Fork Challenge. (Courtesy Agriculture in the Classroom)
Greater Victoria 4-H members among winners in provincewide cooking competition

Field to Fork Challenge encourages B.C. youth to prepare healthy, local foods

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign outside municipal hall on Dec. 1. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Tech offers hope as Salvation Army sees need skyrocket across B.C.

Charity is equipping hundreds of kettles across B.C. with ‘touchless giving technology’

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by former Saanich resident surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read