Masks On Planes Interfere With Eating, Drinking And... Smoking?

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

A WestJet flight from YVR to YYZ was forced to divert to YWG on 14JUN when a passenger removed his mandatory face mask. The fellow was told it’s a Transport Canada directive to wear the mask, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. 

He needed to light up. 

The 60-year-old man from British Columbia now faces a hefty fine and is charged with several offences – including public mischief, smoking on board, and failure to comply with the flight crew instructions to wear a face mask.

According to Transport Canada, this latter allegation is the first time anyone has been charged with the new offence, which carries a maximum fine of CA$5,000. The directive, which requires all air pax in Canada to wear a face covering on board, came into effect on 20APR.

The man's lawyer Matt Gould told CTV News there was a language barrier.

“In terms of what an individual was told or how that was interpreted and what was made from that, it’s difficult to come to any useful conclusion at this time," Gould said. "Certainly everyone’s innocent until proven guilty.”

Gould also noted the incident highlights how serious the consequences can be if someone refuses to wear a mask.

The man was released on CA$3,000 bail and has a court date set for 16JUL, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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