Vancouver police respond to 34 calls for New Year's Eve parties, hand out nearly $10,000 in fines

·1 min read

It was a busy New Year's Eve for the Vancouver Police Department which responded to 34 calls related to the Provincial Health Officer's order on gatherings and events, including one at a downtown restaurant.

Around 11 p.m., the VPD received a complaint about a private party inside a restaurant near Granville Street and Davie Street.

While responding, officers observed more than 100 people inside, where waiters and staff were serving food and alcoholic beverages.

The event's organizer was given a $2,300 fine and the restaurant business license number has been sent to the city of Vancouver for further investigation, said Const. Tania Visintin.

The VPD deployed extra officers in Vancouver's Granville and Gastown entertainment districts to specifically monitor for people gathering in numbers to bring in the new year.

"Our officers were still busy responding to calls throughout the city," she said. "They were more focusing on or responding to COVID-related infractions."

She said four tickets worth $2,300 each were issued to event organizers who were hosting gatherings in homes.

B.C. ordered restaurants, bars, and stores to stop the sale of alcohol after 8 p.m. PT on New Year's Eve, in a bid to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases after the last day of the year.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix both asked people in the province to keep New Year's Eve celebrations small, and limited to immediate households.