Published:April 3, 2021
Calgary City Councillor Druh Farrell suggested to a council emergency committee meeting on Monday night that if people hold a party against lockdown orders and a guest contracts COVID-19 and dies, the host should be charged with manslaughter.
Farrell posed the idea as a question to Calgary Police Services Chief Mark Neufeld.
“The assumption coming out of Osgoode Hall [a law school] is people who are holding parties where, somebody dies of COVID, leading to a COVID death, could be charged with manslaughter. Is that something that we should be talking about?” said Farrell
“That’s probably the $50,000 dollar question isn’t it?” responded Neufeld, who went on to say that manslaughter charges for breaking provincial health orders or lockdowns were not in keeping with the constitution and criminal code.
The maximum penalty for manslaughter is imprisonment for life.
At the same meeting, Councillor Evan Woolley said he will bring a motion for the full council to debate next week to increase the penalty for not wearing a COVID-19 mask to $500. The current fine is $100.
Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Sue Henry also told councillors 75% of citizens would need to be vaccinated, for life in the city to return to normal, said sources.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi told the meeting a “significant announcement on enforcement” would be coming Tuesday, likely referring to Premier Jason Kenney’s statement earlier in the day he would bring in further COVID restrictions.