The Cobourg Police Service issued seven tickets, and Town of Cobourg By-Law Enforcement Officers issued one By-Law offence as a result of a gathering in the Town of Cobourg in violation of the current provincewide Stay-At-Home-Order.
On the afternoon of April 24, 2021, police attended Victoria Park in the Town of Cobourg in response to a large gathering. Police estimate 45 individuals were in attendance and music was being played loudly on the bandshell stage.
Recent changes to the current Stay-At-Home order prohibit all indoor and outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone.
The group was asked to disperse. A large number of people remained in the park, congregating near the bandshell stage. As a result, seven individuals were issued Provincial Offence Notices under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and one By-law ticket was issued.
Police continue to investigate eight individuals who attended, and further charges may be laid.
“Our Constables, Special Constables, Auxiliary members and Town-Bylaw continue to show professionalism and patience week after week as they work to promote compliance of the current Stay-At-Home order. Last weekend, they were, once again, met with derogatory and disrespectful behaviour as they worked to peacefully disperse a gathering in the park. It’s disheartening that the group organizers have not changed their actions after voicing their commitment to remain peaceful,” says Chief Paul VandeGraaf, Cobourg Police Service. “Thank you to all the residents and business owners who remain committed to helping stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants. This is a difficult time for everyone, and your continued cooperation and patience do not go unnoticed.”
Provincial offences officers, including police officers, Special Constables, and Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers, have enforcement rights under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) and Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) order. These enforcement rights include the right to disperse gatherings or events that are not complying with current restrictions and temporarily close premises where prohibited gatherings occur. They have discretion to either issue tickets to individuals for set fine amounts or issue a summons.
Cobourg Police Service, in partnership with the Town of Cobourg By-law, will continue to be proactive and complaint-driven in response to the increased measures. We continue to respond to all calls for service and focus on the 4 Es – Engage, Explain, Educate, and Enforce. Those that refuse to comply will receive the appropriate penalty. Residents who have a concern or complaint regarding possible violations of the current order are encouraged to call the Cobourg Police Service at (905) 372-6821.
We all must continue our efforts and take the emergency order seriously for the health and safety of everyone in the community. Please stay home, practice recommended health guidelines, and only go out if it is essential.