Possible legal consequences begin for Sunwing passengers after federal government spots 12 suspected violations
Health Canada has started the process of possible legal consequences for some of the passengers on the infamous Sunwing flight to Cancun on December 30.
However, the alleged offenses the agency is examining are unrelated to the party on the plane, according to Quebec prosecutors.
“These files do not cover the events that occurred during the flight, the images of which made the headlines,” said Audrey Roy-Cloutier, spokesperson for the Quebec prosecutor’s office.
Health Canada also suggested that it was not interested in the behavior of people on the flight, but in other alleged issues surrounding the trip.
The Public Health Agency of Canada “is following up on suspected cases of fraud and non-compliance with quarantine,” the agency’s statement read.
Health Canada initially confirmed to CTV News on Monday that it had sent notices of infractions to the Quebec prosecutor regarding the passengers on the flight, with more to be sent later.
In an email, the health agency said that out of the 12 notices of non-compliance with the Quarantine Act it has identified to date, three reports have been sent to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) for exam.
It will be up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not to impose a fine.
Passengers are involved in the 12 violations and more are expected to be issued in the coming days, Health Canada said.
What the “fraudulent cases” might refer to is unclear.
The December 30 flight became notorious for the passenger alcohol party, which aviation experts said posed a serious danger.
A young woman who made the trip later told media that some attendees attempted to tamper with their COVID-19 swabs.
She said many of them then tested positive, including her, and were to self-isolate in Mexico.
Sunwing canceled the group’s return flight and two other Canadian airlines refused to allow the group members to travel with them either, leaving a hundred people stranded in Mexico, although at least a dozen appeared to have found a way back to Canada last week.
Roy-Cloutier said Quebec prosecutors are reviewing the files of various agencies, not just Health Canada.
“Several investigations are being carried out by different organizations in relation to the application of various laws,” she wrote in a statement.
“Any matter brought to our attention by any of these organizations will be analyzed in accordance with our applicable legal guidelines and principles to determine whether legal action should be taken. “
She said the information in a certain file will only become public once a criminal charge is filed or a ticket served, so at this time her office cannot say more.