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More than 200 people were caught attending a rager in the suburban City of Brampton this weekend, prompting widespread scorn and disbelief among those who fear (and perhaps rightfully so) a second wave of COVID-19.
Among the naysayers is Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who went off on the party’s host and attendees during his daily pandemic press conference on Monday afternoon.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Ford when asked about the massive Saturday bash. “You think the cheese slipped off the cracker with these people. They just don’t get it.”
What they will get are steep fines for violating provincial emergency orders, if Ford, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Peel Regional Police have anything to say about it.
I can confirm #Brampton by law officers laid charges on the propety owners. The matter will be going to court. Maximum penalty is $100,000. Reckless behavior is expensive. @CityBrampton @PeelPolice https://t.co/zF2cSxWFIW
— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownont) July 27, 2020
“The full extent of the law needs to be thrown at these people… throw everything in the kitchen sink at them, the $100,000, everything else,” said Ford, referring to the maximum financial penalty for breaking Brampton’s social distancing bylaw.
“Every person there should be getting dinged with an $800 fine at minimum,” continued the premier of the roughly 200 attendees. “It’s really unbelievable… it’s really, really disappointing.”
Ford called the partygoers “a bunch of yahoos” and asked them to think of the healthcare professionals working around the clock to protect them amid this (still ongoing) pandemic.
“Maybe you should self-isolate, maybe you should go get tested,” said Ford to those who attended the Saturday night house party near Countryside Drive and Goreway Road. “As a matter of fact, why don’t you go to your grandparents and tell them you were just at a big huge party, having a great old time, dancing?”
Fucking Brampton. The shit hole of Ontario.
Cops shut down a party of over 200+ people ☹️ pic.twitter.com/k2sbIojQmZ
— Brandon (@InTodaysForcast) July 27, 2020
This is far from the first incident involving mass social distancing violations in Brampton — a known COVID-19 hotspot.
Peel Regional Police have busted dozens of people holding backyard parties, house parties and even 18-person cricket matches since the pandemic first hit and Ontario went into lockdown mode.
Just a few weeks ago, Mayor Brown lamented that another house party of more than 40 people had been busted by police, stating: “Individuals who are foolish enough and reckless enough to host a house party during a pandemic are now facing various fines.”
Peel Region, where the city is located, remains in Stage 2 of the province’s economic reopening process, like Toronto and Windsor-Essex. This means that all gatherings are still capped at a maximum of 10 people.
On the Brampton house party: Premier Doug Ford says “the full extent of the law needs to be thrown at these people.”Ford says people and businesses are “struggling” and a bunch of “yahoos” throw a party and another “200 yahoos” show up. #onpoli
— Colin D’Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) July 27, 2020
The owner of the home in which Saturday night’s 200-person party was held has been charged under the Emergency and Civil Protection Act, according to Mayor Brown, but Ford doesn’t think even that’s enough.
“Maybe the media should be calling this guy’s name out, calling him out… because I wouldn’t want someone working at my place that just had 200 people over,” said Ford of the homeowner, whose alleged actions included hiring security guards, banning social media posts and erecting high barriers around the property.
“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous that someone would be reckless and careless and go out and hold this party,” said Ford of the yet-to-be-named party host.
“If you have the money to pay for security, you have the money for valet parking, you have the money to extend your fence up in the air, guess what? You have a $100,000 fine, and I’d throw everything in the book at you right now.”