Lake Babine Nation’s chief and council sent out an announcement on Dec. 9, with latest measures, including putting the checkpoints back in place, to enforce public safety orders around COVID-19 safety.
In an online address, Chief Gordon Alec, Deputy Chief Derek MacDonald and Executive Director Monty Palmantier, talked about the recently announced provincial health orders extending the lockdown on gatherings of any size, including family gatherings other than those living under the same household, until Jan.8, 2021. Based on the order, the LBN announcement stated that a fine of $230 would be given to members not wearing masks in public buildings, not listening to enforcement officers and becoming abusive or belligerent.
“Lake Babine will not assist with paying fines for any members that receive a fine for going against Provincial Health Officer orders,” said the announcement.
The checkpoints at all LBN communities have also gone back up and the Babine Road in Woyenne will remain closed for all of winter with approval from the RCMP, the B.C. Ambulance service and the village of Burns Lake.
The announcement also informed the community that due to COVID-19 exposures and confirmed cases in the community of Woyenne, offices were to remain close as of Dec. 11, from 4:30 p.m. All LBN education programs also closed on the same day including Fort Babine Elementary, Morris Williams Elementary, Woyenne Secondary, Ted Williams Memorial Learning Centre, Woyenne Day Care and Aboriginal Service Innovations Early Years. The closure came one week before the official start of Christmas break.
The LBN administration and all the educational programs and services are set to reopen on Jan. 4, 2021.
The announcement urged members to be upfront and honest about their symptoms in order to protect all the membership, especially the elders.
LBN will also be sending out care packages once, with masks for adults and children, face shields, sanitizers, wipes, laundry detergent, bleach and bars of soaps to every household in all three of LBN’s communities in case people are to leave their households. Members will need to take care of procuring their own supplies after this.