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

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read