The Hosts Of The Brampton House Parties Are Now Facing Fines Of Up To $100,000 (VIDEO)
It looks like some partygoers are facing the consequences. A series of illegal Brampton house parties were held back in July, and now its organizers are facing fines of up to $100,000. Thirteen people have been charged in connection to the case, which alleges the individuals violated COVID-19 distancing and gathering bylaws by hosting the events.
The Toronto Star reports, the accused, who were initially fined $880, have now been issued summons by a justice of the peace (JP).
Bylaw officers withdrew their initial charges after deeming the parties a "significant event," which saw tons of people gather in close proximity to each other.
"We felt that this was a significant event that required a harsher penalty," JP Maurice, Brampton's manager of bylaw enforcement, told the Star.
"It's now up to the Justice of the Peace to make the determination, based on the evidence provided, whether it's a fine that's worth $500 or up to $100,000," JP Maurice explained.
It's unclear at the moment if officials will be able to locate each suspect involved in the investigation, as many of them weren't the owners of the properties.
The illegal parties have drawn criticisms from several Ontario leaders, including Mayor Patrick Brown and Premier Doug Ford.
Brown noted on Thursday that his staff was working with courts to ensure that the individuals involved in the events received a harsher punishment.
"They (bylaw enforcement) tried to educate people before issuing fines," Brown said according to the Star.
"If someone has flagrantly breached our public health guidelines and put the entire city at risk there is rightfully financial consequences for such reckless behaviour," he added.
Meanwhile, Ford slammed the organizers back in July. The premier denounced the parties and its attendees during a press conference, labelling those who went as a "bunch of yahoos."
Ontario's top doctor Christine Elliott argued last month that the epidemic of illegal social gatherings in Brampton could keep the area from moving into stage 3 of reopening.
However, the region has since joined the rest of the GTA in the latest phase.