Langley church issued fine for holding in-person worship, breaking COVID-19 rules
Langley RCMP received a complaint from the public about a gathering at Riverside Calvary Chapel in North Langley Sunday morning. (CTV)
VANCOUVER -- Mounties in Langley say they issued a ticket to a church in the township for violating COVID-19 rules Sunday morning.
Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Largy told CTV News Vancouver police received a complaint from the public about a gathering at Riverside Calvary Chapel in North Langley.
Officers attended and asked the participants in the service to disperse, but they refused to do so, Largy said, prompting police to issue a ticket.
Largy said public health orders banning gatherings do not give police the authority to forcibly disperse crowds, only to issue fines.
"We can't remove people," she said. "We gave them the opportunity to disperse. They refused, so they were issued a violation ticket."
The fine was issued during the first service of the day at the chapel, Largy said. Officers returned to the church for the second of three services and found that there was no in-person gathering taking place at that time. She said police were not called to the church for the third service of the day.
Riverside Calvary Chapel's website asks congregants to "join us online" for Sunday services at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. and provides a livestream link.