Kingston officials thank students for subdued Homecoming, despite some fines

City officials are lauding Queen's University students for a subdued Homecoming weekend amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Matt Head/Global Kingston

Kingston city officials are thanking Queen’s University students for a fairly subdued Homecoming weekend, despite handing out several fines for exceeding the province’s gathering limits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past, Queen’s University Homecoming weekend has given way to sometimes unruly street parties in the university district, but this year, Kingston police say, students mostly heeded warnings not to gather in large numbers.

“I would like to thank the vast majority of students who respected the current emergency orders and endeavoured to keep this community safe by respecting KFL&A Public Health guidelines,” Kingston police chief Antje McNeely said in a press release Monday.

Alumni celebrations for Homecoming were done virtually this past weekend, which city officials say helped quell the usual large crowds.

Kingston police also made it clear last week that anyone gathering past provincial limits of 25 outside and 10 inside would face consequences.

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It turns out that Kingston police did lay Reopening Ontario Act fines this past weekend. Seven people were issued $880 fines for attending several gatherings that exceeded the Act’s limits. No one was fined for hosting such a gathering, which carries with it a minimum $10,000 penalty.

Kingston police say there were also 17 Liquor Licence Act fines issued for having open alcohol, five Administrative Monetary Penalties for bylaw offence notices including one for obstruction, three for amplification of sound and one for hosting a nuisance party.

City bylaw officers also issued 18 AMPs notices over the weekend for yelling and amplified noise.

Nevertheless, Kingston police are calling this weekend a success, saying “KFL&A Public Health guidelines and restrictions regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic were, for the most part, adhered to.”

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The news release included statments from Queen’s Princial Patrick Deane, who thanked his students’ “good judgement,” Dan Hazell, supervisor of Licensing and Enforcement for the City of Kingston, who said the weekend had a “positive outcome,” and Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health at KFL&A Public Health, who offered a “huge thank you” to students and alumni for limiting large gatherings.

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