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Kingston police bust party with up to 40 in attendance in University District over the weekend

Click to play video 'Kingston police bust party with up to 40 in attendance in University District over the weekend' Kingston police bust party with up to 40 in attendance in University District over the weekend
Kingston police say they busted a party in the university district that had up to 40 people in attendance. – Oct 5, 2020

Kingston police say they busted a party in the University District that had somewhere between 35 and 40 people in attendance.

Read more: New COVID-19 gathering restrictions expanded to all of Ontario

According to Kingston police, over the weekend, police were called to a home on William Street where a party was taking place in the backyard.

Police say the person responsible for the party was handed a Reopening Ontario Act charge for hosting a party over the province’s gathering limits, but was only fined $880.

On Sept. 19, the province announced that gathering limits across Ontario would be reduced to 25 people outside and 10 people inside to try to limit the spread of COVID-19, and that minimum fine for such a violation would be $10,000.

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According to the Office of the Solicitor General, the new fine received Royal Assent Oct. 1. Kingston police say the Reopening Ontario Act fine was handed to the host of the party on Oct. 3, just past midnight. According to Staff Sgt. Jodi Armstrong, by the time of the offence, Kingston police had received no notification that the new legislation had passed or that the fine had increased, therefore, a ticket under the previous legislation was issued.

Armstrong said as of Monday, Kingston police have still not received any information from the province of the fines being increased, but are “poised to issue the summons” that would include the minimum fine of $10,000.

Click to play video 'University District party estimated to have more than 40 people, 5 positive cases now linked' University District party estimated to have more than 40 people, 5 positive cases now linked
University District party estimated to have more than 40 people, 5 positive cases now linked – Oct 1, 2020

Kingston police say they also received 38 noise complaints over Friday and Saturday night in the University District and handed out two noise-related charges over the weekend.

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Police say they and bylaw officers were also called to 300 King St. W., next to the Gord Downie Pier, which has been closed since early September due to large gatherings, just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Police say bylaw officers dealt with the gathering.

Bylaw officers and KFL&A Public Health have yet to respond to a request for more information.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that the fine for party was issued under previous legislation, despite the legislation to upgrade those Reopening Ontario Act fines up to $10,000 passing Oct. 1.