'Reckless behaviour is expensive': Brampton residents face $100,000 fine for throwing a 200-guest party during COVID-19 times

Ahmar Khan

Several neighbours called Peel Regional Police to come and break up a massive party in the area of  Countryside Drive and Goreway Drive in Brampton, Ont. around 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. 

According to police, the house party had over 200 people show up, with little to no social distancing being practiced. City Bylaw officers were called in just an hour later to help police break up the party and handle the situation on the ground. 

"The full extent of the law needs to be thrown at these people, throw everything in the kitchen sink," said Premier Doug Ford in a press conference on Monday. 

Ford called the attendees and the homeowner who decided to throw the large gathering “a bunch of yahoos” while adding that he did not understand why so many people were eager to begin partying as restrictions are being loosened.

"I've never seen anything like it, you would think the cheese slipped off the cracker with these people,” said Ford.

Social media videos show vehicles which were sprawled out across the homeowner’s front yard and dozens of cars parked down the street in the area. The party was in violation of Peel Region’s emergency rules, which in Phase 2 still limits the capacity to only ten people to attend a social gathering. At the current time, Peel Regional Police confirmed they charged homeowners with a $880 fine under the Emergency and Civil Protection Act. 

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown was livid to hear the news and echoed Ford’s response adding that they would be bringing the hammer down on the homeowners.

“This homeowner will be the proud owner of a very, very expensive fine,” Brown told CP24 News. 

Mayor Brown confirmed that the city’s bylaw officers have laid additional charges for public nuisance and other charges that have a maximum charge of $100,000 and that the matter could be before the courts.

"The neighbourhood was livid. Bramptonians were upset. When everyone else is doing their jobs, when everyone is following the advice of public health. Then there's one bad apple that's willfully trying to ignore public health, there has to be consequences,” said Brown.

Ford admitted that he expects better of Ontario’s youth and commended the majority of them, but added that a few people are ruining the efforts and good names of thousands of people in the province.

"You got health care workers working around the clock to protect us, you have the police protecting, emergency services, you have everyone in the province sitting there bending over backwards and you’ve got a bunch of jokers out there that think it's no problem."

He added that while cases are on the decline, right now is not the time to be holding large gatherings, especially in Peel Region which was one of the hardest hit areas for COVID-19 in Canada. Ford noted that while young people feel an immunity towards COVID-19, they have to think about what it could do to others.

“Don’t go to a party, it might not be you, but it’ll be your parents, your grandparents...you’re hurting people by doing this and go back to the golden rule —wear a mask, if you don’t have a mask keep six feet,” said an impassioned Ford.

If Peel region does enter Stage 3 in the coming weeks, the gathering limits increases to allow 50 people to be indoors at a time.