Casino executive Rodney Baker and his wife Ekaterina Baker are a millionaire Canadian couple who secretly traveled to a remote community and received the Covid-19 vaccine meant for vulnerable and elderly Indigenous residents. The two now might face jail sentences for breaking public health rules.
The Baker couple were widely condemned after news emerged that they had visited a remote community in the Yukon territory by a charter plane and posed as local motel employees to receive the vaccine.
Even though they were initially fined C$2,300 for violating Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act, community leaders argue that the penalty is insignificant for the wealthy couple. Baker has since resigned from his position as a casino executive.
The Yukon community services minister announced that the couple’s tickets had stayed, and they had been served with a notice to appear in court. If convicted, the couple might have to face up to six months in jail.
This is what minister John Streicker told reporters:
“I have to say I’m outraged by this selfish behavior. All of us as Yukoners are outraged. I find it disturbing that people would choose to put fellow Canadians at risk in this manner.”
The bakers were charged with failing to self-isolate for 14 days, and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations after they arrived in Yukon.
Reportedly, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also investigating the couple’s actions, as members of the First Nation felt ‘violated’ by the couple’s behavior. Officials in the territory have now changed the criteria for vaccine eligibility, and anyone whose health care has been issued outside of the territory will need to demonstrate proof of residency.
Additionally, the couple had not made any attempt to even apologize to the First Nation.
Source: The Guardian