Today, the City of Kingston is issuing a new emergency order – which includes increased penalties and new enforcement powers to further discourage the ongoing violation of social-gathering limits and help stop local COVID-19 case counts from climbing.
Recent large street parties not only violate many laws, bylaws and social gathering limits imposed by the Province, but also pose a dangerous health risk to the community during COVID-19 pandemic. These gatherings place a strain on community partners and agencies, such as police, paramedics and hospital staff.
“The large street parties that have been occurring in the University District are appalling and downright dangerous in the midst of a pandemic. They have put additional pressure on our emergency response personnel and on hospital staff that are already under strain. Regrettably, we’re now seeing a rise in COVID-19 positive cases in the University District,” says Mayor Paterson. “Our community is fed up with this disrespectful behaviour that is putting everyone at risk. That is why, today, I am issuing a new emergency order to ensure those who disregard public health rules are held accountable for their actions.”
New Penalties and Enforcement Powers
The emergency order will take effect as of 4 p.m. today and will:
- Increase Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) for attending an aggravated nuisance party, from $500 to up to $2,000. An aggravated nuisance party is a nuisance party where the number of people exceeds the limits prescribed by O. Reg. 364/20 made pursuant to the Reopening Ontario Act.
- Increase enforcement activity and allow enforcement officers to immediately issue fines for violations once a nuisance party has been declared.
- Allow the City of Kingston to disclose the first and last name of any individuals charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the Reopening Ontario Act, the Emergency Orders By-Law, the Nuisance Party By-Law, and the Noise By-Law upon request and at no cost, including to members of the media.
“It is our hope that increasing penalties and publicly identifying individuals who choose to put the community at risk during a deadly pandemic will serve as a deterrent to illegal social gatherings," says Antje McNeely, Kingston Chief of Police.
Fines issued under the City’s AMPs must be paid and appealed directly through the City. For further information about Administrative Monetary Penalties, please visit CityofKingston.ca/AMPS.
Have you witnessed a gathering of concern? Please contact Kingston Police using this non-emergency number: 613-549-4660.
Stay up-to-date with the City’s COVID-19 changes.
Find answers to your COVID-19 questions from KFL&A Public Health.
Share. Participate. Engage. – https://GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca/