Queen’s University students fight noise complaint tickets, feel unfairly targeted

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Queen’s students fight noise complaint tickets, feel unfairly targeted
WATCH: Two students have found themselves in the crosshairs of Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson as they plan to fight noise complaint tickets they were given in the University District – Sep 9, 2021

Raucous street parties in Kingston’s University District have put a number of young people on the wrong end of the law.

Two Queen’s University students were slapped with a pair of noise violation tickets earlier this week, totaling $400.

Justin and Charles — they refused to give Global News their last names — started a GoFundMe account to help pay for the tickets, because they feel that they were unfairly targeted.

“There were no noise complaints in the general area. They just happened to walk by, and they just fined us for having the music,” says Justin.

“While they were fining us, they never asked us to turn it down. And we had a whole conversation with them while the music was playing.”

Read more: Kingston health unit warns of increased COVID-19 transmission among young adults, gatherings

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These noise violation tickets were issued by police at 1:40 a.m. Monday morning.

The pair say they weren’t in violation of public health measures, and it wasn’t during any large gathering.

However, a comment the pair made about hosting a keg party to celebrate if their GoFundMe campaign was a success caught the ire of Mayor Bryan Paterson on Twitter.

Paterson tweeted that, if they had such a party, they would likely have more, and larger, fines.

“If we need to issue a bigger fine to get that message across, so be it,” says Mayor Paterson. “But I honestly think that this is not just a matter of laying tickets. This is about sending a message as a community. We expect everybody to abide by our city rules and bylaws.”

This comes on the heels of massive parties being thrown by university students over the last few weeks.

Read more: Kingston police chief calls Labour Day University District parties ‘unconscionable’

Some party crowds were reportedly as large as 5,000 people, which is why the two young men are saying they’re sorry for their ‘keg party’ comment and that any such party would be ‘after’ the pandemic is over.

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“That was the plan originally,” says Charles. “We should have realized that we should’ve specified and said it outright. And we apologize to Kingston for that, because we know how rough COVID has been.”

The Earl Street pair still say that if and when they have a party, the mayor will be invited.

Mayor Paterson, for his part, says he won’t be taking them up on the offer and that all celebrations need to be respectful of the city, its residents and its bylaws.

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