Ontario premier slams illegal gatherings after massive meetup in Hamilton
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford slammed those taking part in illegal gatherings after police broke up a massive car meetup in a Hamilton parking lot over the weekend.
The premier made the comments during a news conference on Monday, where he promised hefty fines and reminded those breaking the rules that they are putting people’s lives at risk.
“I don’t get. I just don’t get it. If we weren’t so backlogged on MRIs, I’d send you to the MRI to get your brain scanned because I just don’t think there is anything in there,” Ford said. “Forget the $10,000 [fine], you’re putting people’s lives in jeopardy.”
Hamilton police reported they broke up a massive gathering at a local parking lot on Saturday, the night after the province lowered limits for indoor and outdoor social gatherings across Ontario.
Police said hundreds of people congregated in Hamilton’s Ancaster area and were disregarding the new provincial rules meant to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The new rules, which are in place for at least 28 days, lower the cap on indoor gatherings to 10 and outdoor events to 25.
No charges or fines have been laid to date, but Ford said on Monday that steps are being taken to hold those involved accountable.
Legislation sets hefty fines for those breaking the limits, with event organizers facing a minimum penalty of $10,000 and attendees potentially on the hook for at least $750.
“They're going to look for you, they're going to get you,” Ford said. “They have 30 days to scan your licence plate and go present one of those big nice fat checks of $10,000 for you.”