Wealthy B.C. couple who jumped COVID vaccine queue in the Yukon plead guilty, issued fines

A wealthy Vancouver couple pleaded guilty to jumping the queue to get their COVID-19 vaccine in the Yukon earlier this year.

Rod and Ekaterina Baker appeared via video link, entering guilty pleas to two charges each under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act.

The court was asking for the maximum fines to be laid in this case.

The Bakers were each fined $1,150 – $500 for each charge plus a $75 surcharge.

They will not serve any time in jail.

In January, the Bakers travelled to the remote community of Beaver Creek in a private plane and misrepresented themselves to get their first doses.

They had reportedly ignored the territory’s 14-day mandatory quarantine rules upon arrival and were eventually fined $575 each and charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act.

Rod Baker also subsequently stepped down as president and chief executive of Great Canadian Gaming.

Read more: Case of wealthy B.C. couple accused of jumping vaccine queue in Yukon put over to June 15

The White River First Nation says the Bakers have never apologized for their actions, calling their behaviour “callous and irresponsible.”

The First Nation also said previously a fine without additional punishment would not be adequate for what they did.

“The Bakers acted knowingly because they felt entitled to do so. The courts cannot let the fact that time has passed cloud the seriousness of their offence to our community and to the rest of the Yukon,” said White River First Nation Chief Bessie Chassé in a release.

“All eyes are on the Yukon Government and the courts to fulfill their duty to all Yukoners to protect and serve. We demand that the Yukon Government and the courts not reward the Bakers for their self-centred actions. Issuing a fine to the entitled elite, without additional punishment, would have little to no effect. It would not send a sufficient message to others who may choose to behave in this fashion in the future.”

More to come.

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