Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling for the homeowners who held a large party in Brampton this weekend to face the “full extent of the law.”
Police broke up a party with about 200 people present Saturday night, according to Peel police Const. Kyle Villers. Ford said there were three parties that night, but Villers said he could not confirm how many parties police attended Saturday evening.
Bylaw officers charged one individual under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Villers said.
The property owner could face a maximum $100,000 fine, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown later confirmed on Twitter.
“Throw everything in the kitchen sink at them. $100,000, everything else. You really gotta question people,” Ford said Monday at his daily news conference.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. You’d think the cheese slipped off the cracker with these people, they just don’t get it,” he said.
Ford said there was a shooting at the address of one of the parties, but Villers said the shooting was Sunday night and not at the same address of the Saturday party, although police also attended a social gathering at the address of the shooting earlier in the night in Brampton.
Peel Region is currently in Stage 2 of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gatherings are limited to 10 people, with physical distancing requirements in effect.
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“They’re struggling to get into Stage 3, we want to open it up more, and then you have a bunch of yahoos again, that number one hold the party and then … 200 yahoos show up,” Ford said, repeating a phrase he previously used to describe people protesting the province’s COVID-19 emergency measures at Queen’s Park.
“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, that someone would be reckless and careless and go out and hold this party,” he said.
“If you have the money to pay for security, you have the money for valet parking, you have the money to extend your fence up in the air, guess what? You have a $100,000 fine, and I’d throw everything in the book at you right now.”
Villers said he wasn’t sure if the “security” was people acting on behalf of the party host or hired guards from a company. While he didn’t have details regarding the supposed valet parking or fences, he said there were tents put up, which could have been intended to cover people.
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Ford added that those who attended the party should be “dinged” with a fine of a minimum of $800.
Attendees should self-isolate and consider getting tested for COVID-19, he said, adding they should tell their grandparents they were at a party “having a great old time.”
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said incidents like these set back the region’s recovery.
“Just because we’re moving forward with the economy doesn’t mean that we’re through this pandemic,” she said at the news conference.
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“To have a party of 200 people is completely irresponsible to me. We must continue to follow the physical distancing, wearing masks where that’s not possible, frequent handwashing.”
Elliott added that the parties do a disservice to the “tremendous work” by the province’s health-care workers and emergency personnel amid the pandemic.