Canada

Couple pleads guilty of travelling to Yukon for COVID shot

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at Woodbine Racetrack pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto May 5, 2021.

WHITEHORSE — A husband and wife accused of flying to a remote Yukon community to receive doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in January have each pleaded guilty to two counts of violating of the territory’s Civil Emergency Measures Act.

Rodney Baker, the former CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corp., and his wife Ekaterina Baker appeared remotely today in a Whitehorse courtroom to plead guilty to failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in Yukon.

The territorial court heard the couple from Vancouver chartered a plane to Beaver Creek, a small community near the Alaska border, where they were vaccinated at a mobile clinic before flying back to Whitehorse.

Enforcement officers later intercepted the couple as they were in line to fly back to Vancouver and handed them violation tickets.

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission, ordering the Bakers to pay the maximum of $500 for each charge, a total of $1,000 each, plus a victim surcharge.

The court heard the Bakers had each donated $5,000 to the global vaccine sharing effort known as COVAX, while the judge encouraged the couple to offer their reparations directly to the Beaver Creek community, which is home to the White River First Nation.

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