Possible legal consequences begin for Sunwing passengers after feds spot 12 alleged infractions
Health Canada has started the process for possible legal consequences for some of the passengers on the infamous Sunwing flight to Cancun on Dec. 30.
However, the alleged infractions the agency is looking at are not related to the partying 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, a spokesperson for the Quebec Crown prosecutors' office.
Health Canada also suggested it wasn't interested in people's behaviour on the flight, but at other alleged problems surrounding the trip.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is “following up on suspected fraudulent cases and non respect of quarantine,” the agency's statement read.
Health Canada originally confirmed to CTV News on Monday that it had sent notices of infractions to Quebec’s prosecutor in relation to the flight's passengers, and that more will be sent later.
In an email, the health agency said that of the 12 notices of non-compliance under the Quarantine Act it has identified so far, three reports were sent to the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) for their review.
It will be up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not to issue a fine.
Passengers are implicated in the 12 infractions and more are expected to be issued in the coming days, Health Canada said.
What "fraudulent cases" could be referring to is unclear.
The Dec. 30 flight became notorious for the alcohol-fuelled partying of the passengers, which aviation experts said posed a serious danger.
One young woman who went on the trip later told media that some participants tried to fake their COVID-19 swabs.
She said many of them later tested positive, including her, and needed to self-isolate in Mexico.
Sunwing cancelled the group's return flight and two other Canadian airlines refused to allow members of the group to fly with them, either, leaving around 100 stranded in Mexico, though at least a dozen appeared to find a way home to Canada last week.
Roy-Cloutier said Quebec prosecutors are looking at files from a variety of agencies, not just Health Canada.
"Several investigations are 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 one of these organizations will be analyzed in accordance with our guidelines and applicable legal principles to determine whether any 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 statement of offence is served, so for the moment her office cannot say more.
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