Nearly $50K in fines issued after police bust huge Mississauga house party
Police aren't kidding around when it comes to enforcing lockdown orders in COVID-19 hot spots like Toronto and Peel, as evidenced by the fallout of a large Airbnb party in Mississauga this weekend.
Twenty-nine people were charged with various offences under the Reopening Ontario Act early Sunday morning after Peel Police and bylaw officers stormed a rented residence near Ninth Line and Deepwood Heights.
At least 60 people were in attendance, according to Peel Police Deputy Chief Marc Andrews, though roughly half of them managed to flee when authorities arrived to the scene around 12:15 a.m. on Sunday.
Of the remaining attendees, 27 were issued $880 fines for violating social gathering limits, which in grey zone regions like Peel are currently non-existent: Indoor gatherings with anyone outside of one's own household are completely banned.
Another two people received summonses for hosting an illegal gathering, which carry minimum fines of $10,000 each under the Reopening Ontario Act.
Earlier today @PeelPolice and By-law officers attended a house party in an Msga short term rental unit, 60 people in attendance, some fled on police arrival. 27 x $880 Fines, 2 x Part 3 Summons to hosts (Min $10,000 Fine). Its a tough time for everyone, these antics help no one pic.twitter.com/F5ht3h5ycl— Deputy Chief Marc Andrews (@DeputyAndrews) November 29, 2020
Two of the 27 attendees fined were also arrested and charged with obstruction — a criminal offence — for failing to identify themselves to police.
"Its a tough time for everyone," said Andrews of the bust on Sunday. "These antics help no one."
According to police, the party attendees appeared to be "primarily young adults" around the age of 20.
Airbnb, which earlier this year banned parties at residences rented through the service, distanced itself from the event by stating that the owners weren't present, that the gathering was not condoned, and that the behaviour displayed was "outrageous."
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie expressed her disappointment over the illegal gathering on Sunday, writing in a statement that "everyone has to play their part to get this virus under control."
"For weeks, I have been telling people to stay home, only leave home to get the essentials and limit your close in-person contact to just your immediate household," said Crombie.
"These charges and tickets send a strong signal to the community that we are taking the situation extremely seriously and will not hesitate to enforce the rules."
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