Business executive and wife charged after flying to remote Canadian city to get Covid-19 vaccine, officials say


Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker said the couple showed up last Thursday at a mobile clinic in Beaver Creek, which is home to an Indigenous community.

One presented a health care card from British Columbia, the other had one from Ontario, Streicker said in a statement.

The Bakers were not billed for receiving the vaccine. Rather, they were accused of failing to comply with quarantine requirements after arriving in Canada.

According to a prosecution document, the Bakers are from Vancouver, British Columbia, in the southeastern part of the Yukon Territory.

“I am outraged by this selfish behavior and find it disturbing that people choose to endanger their compatriots in this way,” Streicker said. “Reports allege that these people were deceptive and violated emergency measures for their own benefit, which is totally unacceptable at any time, but especially during a public health crisis. ”

CNN was unable to contact the Bakers on Tuesday for comment.

Couple impersonate local motel workers

Indigenous communities are one of the priority groups for vaccination against Covid-19, according to Canadian vaccine guidelines. They are often also disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus, as they can be found in areas where access to health care is limited.
Beaver Creek, Canada’s most westerly community, is home to the White River First Nation. It is only a few miles from the Alaska border.
The Bakers reportedly chartered a plane from the city of Whitehorse in the Yukon to Beaver Creek, which has about 125 residents, and claimed they were employees of a local motel, Streicker, CNN television partner, CBC said.

The Bakers arrived in the Yukon from Vancouver on Jan.19 and were supposed to self-isolate for 14 days in Whitehorse, officials said. According to a complaint filed with law enforcement, they visited Beaver Creek on January 21. Travel was not authorized due to quarantine requirements, officials said.

After receiving their photos, the couple raised suspicion in the community by asking to go to the airport, Streicker told CNN press partner CBC.

“And people were like, ‘Well, why would you go to the airport?’ “Said Streicker.

Following an investigation, the couple were found at the Whitehorse airport and officials in the Yukon told CNN the couple left the territory the same day.

Members of the mobile clinic team called the motel and were told the couple were not working there, Streicker told CBC.

CNN reached out to Streicker for comment on Tuesday, but did not receive a response.

Traveling to Canada During Covid-19: What You Need to Know Before You GoTraveling to Canada During Covid-19: What You Need to Know Before You Go

When it comes to getting the shot, Streicker says the BC and Ontario health cards wouldn’t necessarily have stopped the Bakers from getting them, as there are a lot of out-of-territory workers in the area. .

Rodney, 55, and Ekaterina Baker, 32, were each charged with failing to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the territory and failing to behave in a manner consistent with the statement provided during entry into the territory.

Fees under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) can include fines of up to $ 500; up to 6 months in prison; or both, depending on the Yukon’s Covid-19 orders and instructions. The bakers were each fined $ 500 and an additional $ 75 on both counts.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been alerted to the situation. The RCMP office in the Yukon said on Tuesday it was investigating; he wouldn’t answer CNN’s questions.

The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, a hotel and casino company with 25 Canadian properties, told CNN that although it did not comment on personnel issues relating to former employees, as of Jan. 24, Rodney Baker no ‘was no longer the CEO of Great Canadian and “is no longer affiliated with the company in any way.”

“As a company, Great Canadian takes health and safety protocols extremely seriously, and our company strictly follows all guidelines and guidelines issued by public health authorities in each jurisdiction in which we operate,” the statement added.

The White River First Nation said it “is particularly concerned about the callous nature of these actions taken by individuals, as they constitute a blatant disregard for the rules that keep our community safe during this unprecedented global pandemic” .

CNN’s Paula Newton and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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