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Birthday party leads to Barrie's first fine under emergency act

'The people at the home knew what they were doing — it was all adults — and these rules are here to protect everyone'
Barrie police car

A weekend birthday party in Barrie's south-east end led to a woman becoming the city's first resident to be charged under the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Charged with a failing to comply with an order during a declared emergency, the 45-year-old woman received a $750 fine.

The party took place on Saturday, April 11.

Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon said the home had 11 people at the party, with only six of them living there.

“Five people were invited by the person who was fined; that is the person in charge of the household,” he said. “Police received a call and before leaving the residence, made sure the guests also left.”

The Act went into effect March 12 and police have responded to several calls since then, with the April 11 party being the first to end up having charges laid as a result.

“Most times, we have gone in with the intent to bring awareness and educate. This time, police found enough reason to lay charges," Leon said. "The people at the home knew what they were doing — it was all adults — and these rules are here to protect everyone.”

Leon said you never know when someone is watching and other people are concerned about COVID-19 spreading.

“We were alerted by someone," he said. "It shows that many others are keeping watch and will report you if you break the rules.

“We all just have to realize that some parties can wait until this is all over, other people are making sacrifices and won’t be happy if they see you not doing the same," Leon added. 

If you suspect the emergency act of being violated, you can file a complaint by calling 705-739-4241 or emailing enforcement.services@barrie.ca.