Canadian mogul, wife charged after flying into remote town to get Covid-19 vaccine meant for locals
London, Jan. 27, 2021 (AltAfrica)-The former president and CEO of the Great Canada Gaming Corporation and his wife are facing charges — including failure to self-isolate — after allegedly chartering a plane to a small town in western Canada and posing as local workers to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
CNN reports that Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA), according to court documents.
Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker said the couple showed up at a mobile clinic last Thursday in Beaver Creek, home to an indigenous community.
One of them presented a British Columbia health care card, the other had one from Ontario, Streicker said in a statement.
The Bakers weren’t charged for getting the vaccine. Rather, they were accused of not following quarantine requirements after arriving in the Canadian territory.
According to a charging document seen by CNN, the Bakers are from Vancouver, British Columbia, southeast of the Yukon territory. “I am outraged by this selfish behaviour, and find it disturbing that people would choose to put fellow Canadians at risk in this manner,” Streicker said.
“Reports allege these individuals were deceptive and violated emergency measures for their own advantage, which is completely unacceptable at any time, but especially during a public health crisis.
Couple posed as local motel employees, reports say
Indigenous communities are one of the groups given priority for Covid-19 vaccinations, according to Canada’s vaccine guidance.
They are often also disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus because they can be in areas where health care access is limited.
Beaver Creek, the westernmost community in Canada, is the home of the White River First Nation. It is just a few miles from the Alaska border.
The Bakers allegedly chartered a plane from the city of Whitehorse in Yukon to Beaver Creek, which has about 125 residents, and claimed they were employees at a local motel, Streicker told CNN news partner CBC.
The Bakers arrived in Yukon from Vancouver on January 19 and were supposed to be self-isolating for 14 days in Whitehorse, according to officials.
According to a complaint made to law enforcement, they travelled to Beaver Creek on January 21. The travel was not allowed because of quarantine requirements, officials said.
After getting their shots, the couple raised suspicions in the community by asking for a ride to the airport, Streicker told CNN news partner CBC.”And people were like, ‘Well, why would you be going to the airport?’ ” Streicker said.
Following an investigation, the couple was located at the Whitehorse airport, and Yukon officials told CNN the couple left the territory that same day.
Members of the mobile clinic team called the motel and were informed the couple did not work there, Streicker told CBC. CNN reached out to Streicker for comment on Tuesday but did not hear back.