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WorkSafeBC issues $3,500 penalty for party hosted by Big White restaurant last spring

WorkSafeBC called the violation 'high-risk.'

A restaurant at Big White Ski Resort that provoked outrage last spring by holding a large party in violation of COVID-19 public health orders has been hit with a penalty by WorkSafeBC.

Charley Victoria's, which was evicted by Big White in the wake of the party, was fined $3,496 for contravening health orders.

“WorkSafeBC conducted an inspection after learning a party had taken place on the premises that violated provincial health orders for preventing the transmission of COVID-19,” WorkSafeBC said in a notice online.

“In addition, the party contravened the employer's COVID-19 Safety Plan protocols for capacity, physical distancing, mask wearing, and barriers between patrons and staff.”

WorkSafeBC called the violation “high-risk.”

The fine was issued on June 23, but was just recently disclosed online.

The party was held on March 29, the same day provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a pause on indoor dining amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Big White had also been grappling with a coronavirus outbreak for the majority of the season.

Restaurant owner Justin Reid apologized for the party the next day.

"I take full ownership for this ignorant decision that I made out of pure selfish frustration over the recent announcement, regarding COVID restrictions in our community," said Reid.

That apology was not enough to save his business. Big White moved to terminate Reid’s lease two days after the party, saying they were “disgusted” by the event.