Fines issued after hundreds gather in Brampton, mayor says

Patrick Brown said the gathering happened at Gurudwara Nanaksar near McLaughin Road South and Ray Lawson Boulevard. Global News

Brampton’s mayor says fines were handed out on Saturday after hundreds of people gathered for a religious event in the city.

Patrick Brown said the gathering happened at Gurdwara Nanaksar near McLaughin Road South and Ray Lawson Boulevard.

Saturday marked the celebration of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas in the Hindu and Sikh faiths, respectively.

Brown said while the vast majority of worship facilities followed public health protocols, one did not.

Read more: Peel Region officials advise against large gatherings during Diwali

“We have over 100 places of worship and we had an incident at one of them,” Brown told Global News.

“The vast majority understood that this is a very precarious situation right now with COVID-19 and we need to take all steps necessary.”

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Brown said there were just 10 people inside the Gurdwara, but around 300 gathered outside, lined up to get in.

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“The lineup was too big, but they were cooperative,” Brown said of the Gurdwara.

“They worked with bylaw and Peel police to disperse the crowd. They shut down on their own. And it’s unfortunate.

“We know that Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas is a very important celebration in the South Asian community but with the COVID numbers so high, we just can’t have any crowds gathering right now.”

The mayor said it appears the facility didn’t anticipate the lineup to get inside would be so long.

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Read more: Here are the government’s latest coronavirus restrictions in the Greater Toronto Area

Brown said the facility was fined for the incident and a few people who refused to leave were also issued tickets.

Fifty-seven tickets were handed out in Brampton Saturday night for the use of fireworks, Brown added.