Gathering in Hull earns host $1K fine

A noise complaint led Gatineau police to issue that city's first fine in response to strict measures banning gatherings in Quebec during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, police fined a tenant of an apartment in Hull for hosting a gathering including another tenant and five guests.

Police said the group ignored an initial warning to disperse, prompting the $1,000 fine. Police fined the tenant an additional $200 plus administrative costs for contravening noise bylaws.

Last weekend, Quebec banned gatherings of two or more people, and gave police the power to break up any gatherings. The measures are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

There are exceptions to the emergency measures, including gatherings of members of the same household, workers such as plumbers and electricians, and businesses that have been allowed to remain open. In those cases, people must stay two metres apart.

Gatineau police say fines for violating the new ban on gatherings can range from $1,000 to $6,000. The city's tip line for anyone wishing to report a gathering, party or meeting is 819-246-0222.