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Ontario Church May Face Charges After 70 Cars Gathered For A Drive-In Service This Weekend

“People will be held accountable,” warns the OPP.

As Ontario remains on lockdown, the province is urging residents to stay home as much as possible. However, one church may now be facing Ontario's social distancing charges after hosting a drive-in service over the weekend. It was reported that around 70 cars were in attendance.

The Church of God in Aylmer, Ontario hosted its third drive-in service on Sunday, according to their website.

Police say "people will be held accountable" and that the church will be facing charges, National Post reports. 

Despite the clergyman's claim that no one interacted physically during the event, Aylmer Police have stated that gatherings of five or more people for religious ceremonies is against the law. 

The outdoor service saw Pastor Hildebrandt speak from a podium as people attending remained in their cars.

His speech went over a radio signal which his congregants were instructed to tune into from their vehicles.

The pastor encouraged members of the Church of God to ignore a formal warning by police and attend the service at their own risk via their website on April 25.

"Tomorrow morning, at 10:30, the Lord willing, we will hold our third drive-in service under the threat of hefty fines, disruption, and physical roadblocks by order of the Aylmer Chief of Police," read a statement from the church's website.

"We have attempted, unsuccessfully, to reach an acceptable compromise with him these past 6 days." 

The pastor had previously held two drive-in services. However, on the weekend of April 19 police received multiple complaints about a church group gathering in the city. 

The Aylmer Police took to Facebook on April 24 to highlight the importance of practicing social distancing rules during this time. 

According to the Facebook post, the service received 15 calls to complain about the church group gathering in the parking lot. 

After investigating, police concluded that these gatherings were in violation of EMPCA and those attending can be facing social distancing fines. 

However, it is still unclear how many fines have been handed out to those in attendance.