On Friday, Mayor Bryan Paterson announced that he would be issuing a new emergence order designed to “further discourage the ongoing violation of social-gathering limits and help stop local COVID-19 case counts from climbing.”
The emergency order includes increased penalties and new enforcement powers from law enforcement officials. Beginning today at 4pm, those found to be attending a nuisance party will face a fine of $2,000, an increase from the $500 fine initially imposed.
“Recent large street parties not only violate many laws, bylaws and social gathering limits imposed by the Province but also pose a dangerous health risk to the community during COVID-19 pandemic. These gatherings place a strain on community partners and agencies, such as police, paramedics and hospital staff,” said Paterson in a news release.
Kingston Police will now be able to immediately issue fines for a violation once a nuisance party is declared. Further, the City of Kingston will now be allowed to disclose the first and last names of those who are charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the Reopening Ontario Act, the Emergency Orders By-Law, the Nuisance Party By-Law, and the Noise By-Law.
The release of first and last names will be at no cost and available upon request.
“It is our hope that increasing penalties and publicly identifying individuals who choose to put the community at risk during a deadly pandemic will serve as a deterrent to illegal social gatherings,” says Antje McNeely, Kingston Chief of Police.
The changes come after KFL&A Public Health confirmed that there’s been an increase in COVID-19 cases within Kingston’s University District.
The mayor says that has it’s important to send a “message” to students that this behavior is not acceptable. He has recently taken aim towards a pair of students who promised to host a “kegger” if community members assisted them with paying off their Administrative Monetary Penalty due to noise.