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Hamilton police charge 22 with COVID-19 breaches at anti-mask, pro-Palestinian events

Don Mitchell / Global News

Two separate demonstrations in Hamilton on Sunday resulted in 22 charges for not following current provincial COVID-19 regulations.

Hamilton Police say eight people were charged in connection with another Hugs Over Masks event out front of city hall.

The charges were for gathering at an event that exceeded the number of people allowed.

Authorities have laid multiple charges over the past few months for Hugs Over Masks events, which have been a regular occurrence in Hamilton on Sundays since July 2020.

The latest event drew 20 people.

Read more: Police lay charges in Hamilton, St. Catharines in connection with COVID-19 protests

Meanwhile, a protest in support of the Palestinian people, which drew about 1,000 later on Sunday, led to 12 charges, while two organizers received additional charges under the Reopening Ontario Act.

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Investigators say there may be further charges as the event is still under review.

During a COVID-19 update from the city on Monday, emergency operations centre (EOC) director Paul Johnson said there were about 58 total park penalties issued last week with a majority non-COVID-related.

“It’s just people that are doing things in the falls, particularly Chedoke Falls and Albion Falls,” Johnson said.

“We did have two people that were issued a penalty for golfing at Chedoke golf course and one for consuming alcohol in a park.”

Johnson said there were 29 total penalties issued in connection with a number of incidents involving a lack of physical distancing or face coverings, as well as some residential parties.

 

 

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