The Government of Canada has issued 24 fines in total.
As of March 28, the Government of Canada has issued a total of 24 fines to passengers aboard the December 30 Quebec Sunwing flight to Cancun. The chartered flight made international headlines after videos from the cabin showed passengers, including local influencers and celebrities, partying maskless in their seats and the aisle.
But as Transport Canada continues its crackdown, James William Awad, the flamboyant and enigmatic flight organizer, says passengers have no plans to pay penalties. Instead, they aim to challenge them.
"These fines will not be paid. These are the kind of fines they give in dictatorial countries," he told Narcity Québec. "It's an abuse of power to hurt people who were going south to have fun after two years of the pandemic."
He also expressed frustration at the scope of Canada's mask and vaccination rules for air travel. So far, Transport Canada has said its fines target individuals who weren't fully vaccinated when they boarded the flight to Cancun or weren't wearing a mask aboard.
The two rules apply to all flights, including charter flights, leaving Canadian airports.
"Imagine renting an entire plane and being fined for wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, going somewhere where it's not required," Awad said to Narcity. "And also when the captain and employees themselves take off their masks. When everyone agrees to take it off in a private room."
He aired a similar complaint in a March 28 tweet taking aim at Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra.
This Idiot is fining people for not wearing masks or not being vaccinated in a private chartered plane traveling to a country where masks and vaccines are not required.https://twitter.com/omaralghabra/status/1508474037881737221\u00a0\u2026— senior (@senior) 1648487523
Alghabra, meanwhile, promised even more fines are on the way.