Toronto police attend over 200 gatherings, lay 160 charges for violations of Ontario’s stay-at-home order on the weekend
|Toronto Star 26 Apr 2021 at 14:56|
Toronto police say they were called to 210 gatherings over the weekend, where they laid up to 160 charges for violations of the provincial stay-at-home order.
In a release on Monday, police said the downtown area generated the most calls, with Saturday being the busiest night for large indoor gatherings at apartments, houses, short-term rentals and businesses.
Officers responded to a call for one noisy party at a building in the York and Harbour streets area.
Police heard loud music coming from another unit and discovered a separate apartment being used as a short-term rental, six people were charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).
Another instance was at a condo in the King and Portland streets area, where police found 10 people who did not live at the building’s address. The homeowner and all the guests were charged under EMCPA.
On April 22, Toronto police introduced 16 teams of officers dedicated to enforce stay-at-home rules and charge accordingly under the act.
“We are at a critical point in this pandemic and these teams will continue to be deployed across the city every day to lay charges against those who are disrespecting provincial and public health orders,” Toronto police chief James Ramer said.
In addition to the 160 EMCPA charges given over the weekend, officers also laid eight criminal charges including obstructing a police officer and assault.
“At a time when positive case counts continue to rise to worrying numbers and hospital ICU admissions are at their highest, it’s extremely disappointing to see people having parties and gatherings and putting themselves, their families, health-care workers and first responders at increased risk,” Ramer said.
As of April 16, the province extended a stay-at-home order for up to six weeks, meaning people should only gather with those that live in the same household.
Otherwise, people may leave their homes for groceries, exercise, medical appointments, or work that cannot be done remotely.