On Friday, Mayor Bryan Paterson announced that he would issue a new emergency order designed to “further discourage the ongoing violation of social gathering limits and help prevent local COVID-19 case counts from increasing.”
the emergency orderr includes increased penalties and new powers to enforce the law by law enforcement officials. Starting today at 4 p.m., those who attend a nuisance party will face a $ 2,000 fine, an increase from the $ 500 fine originally imposed.
“Recent large street parties not only violate many laws, statutes and social gathering limits imposed by the province, but also pose a dangerous risk to the health of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These meetings put pressure on community partners and agencies such as police, paramedics and hospital staff, ”Paterson said in a press release.
Kingston Police will now be able to issue tickets immediately for a violation once a nuisance party is declared. Additionally, the City of Kingston will now be able to release the first and last names of defendants under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Ontario Reopening Act, Emergency Orders Statute, Nuisance Party Statute , and the Noise Ordinance.
The disclosure of names and surnames will be free and will be available upon request.
“We are hopeful that increased penalties and public identification of individuals who choose to put the community at risk during a deadly pandemic will serve as a deterrent to illegal social gatherings,” says Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely.
The changes come after KFL & A Public Health confirmed that there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Kingston University District.
The mayor says it is important to send a “message” to students that this behavior is not acceptable. Recently, he targeted a couple of students who promised to host a “kite” if community members helped them pay their Administrative Monetary Fine due to noise.