Kingston, Ont., partygoers could now face $2K fine, public shaming

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Kingston, Ont., Mayor Bryan Paterson says the city is clamping down on large parties and is 'fed up with this disrespectful behaviour.' (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press - image credit)
Kingston, Ont., Mayor Bryan Paterson says the city is clamping down on large parties and is 'fed up with this disrespectful behaviour.' (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press - image credit)

Police and the medical officer of health in Kingston, Ont., already singled out people who attend illegal, unsafe gatherings. Now the city says those attendees will face higher fines, as well as the threat of being publicly named.

As of Friday at 4 p.m., a new emergency order from the City of Kingston targets large street parties.

The order jacks the fine — from $500 to 2,000 — for anyone who attends a gathering above the provincial limit of 25 people inside, and 100 people outside, according to a news release.

This also allows stronger enforcement of these rules and the ability to fine people on the spot.

The city is now also allowed to share the first and last name of anyone charged under the Reopening Ontario Act, plus similar laws.

Kingston Police
Kingston Police

'Appalling and downright dangerous'

Kingston police charged 11 people under that pandemic act over the long weekend, saying 3,500 to 5,000 people had gathered in its downtown university district.

The health unit for the area said Thursday, in general, more young people downtown are testing positive after going to large gatherings without masks or distancing. Anyone who has gone to a large gathering in its university district is asked to get a COVID-19 test.

"The large street parties that have been occurring in the University District are appalling and downright dangerous in the midst of a pandemic," said Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson in the news release.

"They have put additional pressure on our emergency response personnel and on hospital staff that are already under strain."

As of Thursday, the Kingston public health unit has reported 29 cases over a week, up from 11 cases the previous week. The unit's dashboard doesn't list any COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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