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Ontario teen charged $880 after throwing 50-person house party

Neighbourhood grumps have a new weapon in their ongoing fight against unruly teens, and it comes by way of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of gathering limits.

Ontario Provincial Police just announced that an 18-year-old man has been charged and fined $880 under the Reopening Ontario Act, which prohibits more than 10 people from getting together for social purposes indoors, and more then 25 from gathering outside.

Officers from the OPP's North Bay detachment say they were called to a residence in East Ferris, Ontario, around 11:50 p.m. on Saturday night for reports of "a large gathering."

Upon arrival, the cops found some 40 to 50 "youths" — people under the age of 20 — inside the house, putting them in clear violation of provincial emergency orders.

Most of the kids scrammed, according to police, but the unnamed 18-year-old host of the party was fined. He now has the option of paying his fine or, like any highway traffic ticket, challenging it in a Provincial Offences Court.

While $880 is surely no small sum to an 18-year-old, the young man actually got off pretty lucky in terms of his punishment.

Under current province-wide laws, hosts of "unmonitored private social gatherings" containing more than the alloted number of people can be fined up to $10,000.

His friends got off easy too.

"He was the only one charged. Most of all the attendees scattered once police arrived," said OPP Const. Michelle Coulombe in a statement regarding the incident.

"Police continue to enforce provincial and federal statutes, as well as supporting compliance with ROA regulations while reminding the public that it is the collective responsibility of all Ontarians to comply with the ROA in order to limit the spread of COVID-19."

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