London police charged a 20-year-old woman after breaking up a 15-person gathering in a downtown neighbourhood over the weekend.
The Toronto woman was charged under the Reopening Ontario Act with hosting and participating in an indoor gathering with over 10 people on Ann Street Saturday night. This news comes one week after three 18 and 19-year-olds were charged with hosting a party that saw over 100 guests.
There is a $10,000 minimum fine for hosting an indoor gathering with more than the 10 people or over 25 people outdoors — the provincial limit — and a $750 fine for attending.
This charge is the latest in a long string of fines issued against party-goers and hosts this month, but is the first time a host was charged for a gathering of under 100 people. This news also comes a week after London Mayor Ed Holder promised to crack down on partiers by enforcing fines against those hosting illegal gatherings in the middle of a pandemic.
Police were called for a noise complaint on Ann Street, a neighbourhood known for its student housing. Police said there were 15 people in the residence, none wearing masks.
This was the one of two large gatherings police were called to this weekend. The second, in London’s north end, is still under investigation.
“Despite repeated messages and reminders from police and our community partners, we continue to respond to large gatherings exceeding provincial guidelines,” London’s police chief Steve Williams said in a statement. “It’s … disappointing to hear that this type of blatant disregard for public safety continues.”
The 20-year-old charged for the Ann Street gathering is set to appear in court Jan. 4, 2021. It has not been confirmed if she is a university student.