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American traveller thinks seeing Alberta is worth a $750k fine

Thinking about breaking quarantine? Be prepared to pay the price of a house if you’re caught.

Canada has some of the world’s strict penalties for those defying mandatory quarantine.

According to the Quarantine Act, anyone who fails to comply with the country’s 14-day self-isolation measures after arriving from abroad is “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $750,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”

$750k! Prison! As it stands, literally everyone who comes to Canada from a place that is not Canada is subject to quarantine.

And in case you think the feds are bluffing, a story recently emerged of a Kentucky man who might soon have to cough up (pun not intended) a quarter of a million dollars because he wanted to chill in Alberta.

The man, 40-year-old John Pennington, was on his way to Alaska from a state south of the border. U.S. citizens are given a “reasonable” period of time to travel through Canada on their way to Alaska. Pennington decided instead to vacation at a hotel in Banff, where his American license plates gave him away. He was caught and given a $1,200 ticket.

But then! …instead of going on his way, Pennington was caught the next day having a grand old time in the mountains. That’s when he was charged under the federal Quarantine Act.

He’s now awaiting his day in court and will likely be punished in a way totally not justified by a stopover in Banff – no matter how beautiful it is this time of year.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.