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Charges laid after ‘several large gatherings’ in Toronto, police say

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures' Coronavirus: Toronto police make arrest at ‘large gathering’ downtown despite COVID-19 measures
WATCH ABOVE: Video captured a man being arrested by Toronto police on Saturday, after they said they responded to several large gatherings downtown despite provincial COVID-19 measures that restrict outdoor gatherings to five people – Jan 23, 2021

Toronto police say they have made arrests and laid charges after “several large gatherings” were held in the city on Saturday despite the province’s stay-at-home order.

Police said officers attended gatherings at Nathan Phillips Square, Yonge-Dundas Square, and Queen’s Park.

Officers said seven people were arrested and charged at Yonge-Dundas Square, which has been the scene of anti-lockdown protests every Saturday for several months.

Read more: Ontario government expands COVID-19 inspection blitz of big-box stores

Charges laid include obstructing a peace officer, assaulting police, common nuisance, and public mischief.

Police said nine charges were also laid against attendees for failing to comply with emergency orders and three under the Highway Traffic Act.

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“The Toronto Police Service continues to respond to calls to attend large gatherings and will take steps to disperse,” officers said in a news release.

“Police will issue tickets and summonses to individuals when there is evidence of non-compliance of the provincial order under the [Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act] or the Reopening Ontario Act.”

The province issued a stay-at-home order which took effect Jan. 14. Outdoor gatherings are also limited to five people.

Click to play video 'Anti-lockdown protesters attempt to enter grocery store in Toronto' Anti-lockdown protesters attempt to enter grocery store in Toronto
Anti-lockdown protesters attempt to enter grocery store in Toronto – Jan 23, 2021