'Disgusted, appalled, embarrassed': Video shows crowded restaurant party at B.C. resort community
VANCOUVER -- Two employees of B.C.'s Big White Ski Resort have been fired after video emerged of a crowded party full of unmasked young people drinking and dancing on tables at a local restaurant.
Video obtained by Castanet News shows dozens of partiers going wild at Charley Victoria's All Day Après on Monday night, hours after the B.C. government announced a slew of new restrictions that are expected to have a major impact on the service industry.
Big White Ski Resort senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall told CTV News that hotel staff promptly reported the party to the RCMP after they noticed what was happening.
"We were absolutely disgusted, appalled, embarrassed," he said in a phone interview Tuesday.
"I mean this is incredibly disappointing to all the restaurants on the mountain that have really worked so hard, as the mountain has, to keep everyone safe."
While Charley Victoria's is located at Big White, the restaurant is privately owned and operated.
Ballingall said Big White laid off dozens of employees on Monday after the province's new health orders were announced, and that many of those former workers appear to have been involved in the party.
Two others who were still employed have also been fired since the video surfaced, Ballingall said.
"They've breached our social contract and we've terminated their employment," he added.
B.C.'s updated restrictions, which include a three-week ban on indoor dining that took effect at midnight, were designed to help combat an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases that has partly been blamed on rule-breaking.
Premier John Horgan suggested Monday that much of that behaviour involves people in the 20 to 39 age range.
"I'm appealing to young people to curtail your social activity," he said. "Do not blow this for the rest of us. Do not blow this for your parents and your neighbours and other who have been working really, really hard, making significant sacrifices so we can get good outcomes for everybody."
The party on Big White also followed just days after Interior Health declared a local COVID-19 cluster had been contained. A total of 237 people were infected, including 150 who work or live on the mountain.
Big White said staff reported the party at around 7 p.m. Monday, but that RCMP officers didn't arrive for about two hours, at which point things had largely died down. It's unclear whether anyone was ticketed.
B.C.'s public health orders require restaurant patrons to remain seated except to pay their bill, go to a restroom or use a self-serve food or beverage station. They are also required to wear a mask whenever they leave their table.
CTV News has reached out to Charley Victoria's and the Kelowna RCMP detachment for more information.