Bylaw officers are currently patrolling public closures to ensure social distancing regulations are followed. Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press

Bylaw officers are currently patrolling public closures to ensure social distancing regulations are followed. Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press

Fernie hires new bylaw officer

Tom Kramer joined the City of Fernie to help ensure COVID-19 health directives are being followed

The City of Fernie recently hired a new bylaw enforcement officer, Tom Kramer, to enforce ministerial orders pertaining to the current public health emergency. Kramer worked as a police officer in Lethbridge for 30 years prior to moving back to Fernie to accept the full time, permanent position.

“[Kramer] brings a breadth of experience to the position and has hit the ground running, assisting the province with compliance and enforcement of public health orders related to the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Liz Rhodes, communications coordinator for the City of Fernie.

According to a news release from the government of British Columbia, provincial compliance staff have been redeployed from various ministries to assist with enforcement duties under the direction of the provincial health officer. This includes community safety personnel, gambling enforcement and investigations officers, liquor and cannabis licensing and control inspectors. Working alongside businesses and the general public, the officers oversee directives such as gathering size limitations, physical distancing requirements, and enforced business closures.

According to the same release, while bylaw enforcement officers do not have the ability to detain disobeying individuals, they can assist provincial health officers by monitoring facilities and providing information, advice and warnings to businesses and the public. They also have the power to delegate information about contraventions to health authorities for follow up.

Presently, the City of Fernie has closed all sports fields, playgrounds, and public facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus. While parks remain open, the city asks the public to practice social distancing whenever possible. This includes avoiding high touch areas like park benches, keeping dogs on leash at all times, and staying home whenever possible.

Continuing to impose existing City of Fernie bylaws, Kramer and the rest of the bylaw enforcement team will be routinely visiting play structures, sports fields, public spaces, and closed playgrounds to ensure the public is complying with current regulations and abiding by social distancing protocols.

Fernie’s bylaw officers will also be visiting open businesses to guarantee proper social distancing measures are in place. This includes ensuring various businesses such as tattoo parlours, hair salons, and fitness facilities are abiding by mandated closures.

“Local governments are key partners in ensuring the provincial health officer’s orders are obeyed so people in our communities can stay healthy,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, in the aforementioned news release. “It’s important that communities, and those responsible for compliance, have clear and consistent guidelines to enforce the provincial health officer’s orders so businesses can adapt their workplaces and help keep people safe.”

This being said, the City of Fernie urges anyone who notices actions that do not align with the public health officer’s orders to reach out via the online Request for Service tool on, or to contact the City at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of FernieCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Regional COVID-19 numbers on the rise

More than 20 cases have been diagnosed in the region since last week

Fernie Fire Rescue evacuated three properties on Monday afternoon due to a residential gas leak. File photo.
RDEK extends agreement with City of Fernie for rural fire coverage

The district voted to renew its agreement for five years and contribute $450,000 for an eventual new firehall

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Interior Health says Salmo’s COVID-19 cases have been contained. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Interior Health: Salmo’s COVID-19 cases are contained

Every person who tested positive has recovered

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read