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5 charged for parking lot gathering: police

2017-11-03 Timmins Police Building MH
The Timmins Police Service building downtown Timmins. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

Five people have been charged for going against the COVID-19 restrictions. 

These new charges are in relation to a gathering at an Algonquin Boulevard grocery store. Timmins Police are also investigating Saturday's protest at Hollinger Park.

A concerned citizen called Timmins Police on Monday, May 17 in the early evening about the parking lot gathering.

Police say there were a number of parked cars and a group of people not social distancing. 

Officers interviewed the people and found they were "socializing while in conflict with the stay-at-home order', according to the news release. None of the five people located by police shared a legitimate address.

"Further investigation determined that each of the individuals was in breach of COVID protocols defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA)," reads the news release. 

Three men — ages 20, 23 and 30 — a 20-year-old woman and a 24-year-old woman were charged. 

"This marks yet another instance where the Timmins Police Service has found it necessary to lay formal charges as the offence in question was an overt and intentional violation of the applicable statute," said police.

In light of the recent surge of cases in Timmins, police say the education approach and using discretion approach has ended.

"The Timmins Police will continue to maintain a firm and formal approach when confronting such violations as it is deemed to be necessary and appropriate to do so in order to better protect people from their own lack of good judgment and the indulgence in unsafe behaviours."

As for the May 15 protest, Timmins Police communications coordinator Marc Depatie said yesterday that police are doing a "complete and intensive review of all materials and video of the demonstration".

"It is a painstaking process, but necessary, in order to determine the exact identity of persons involved and the exact nature of any and all offences committed," he said.

Appropriate charges will be considered taking into account all the relevant factors, he said. 

"While the Timmins Police Service fully respects the Charter freedoms that allow for public and peaceful demonstrations to take place, we remain fully committed to our obligations to contribute to public safety by means of enforcing any pertinent statutes to the full extent of the law," he said. 

Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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