Two Charged For Unlawful Gathering Under EMCPA

(LEAMINGTON, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Essex County has charged two individuals in separate incidents under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

On April 9, 2020 Leamington detachment officers responded to two separate reports of gatherings of more than five people at residences on Wigle Street and Satinwood Crescent. Through investigation it was determined that a number of persons present at each location were not residents of that address. As a result, two Leamington residents have been charged with the following offence:

Failing to Comply with an Order Made during a Declared Emergency.

The government has enacted an Emergency Order under the EMCPA to prohibit the following:

an organized public event of more than five (5) people, including a parade;

a social gathering of more than five (5) people; or

a gathering of more than five (5) people for the purposes of conducting religious services, rites or ceremonies.

These prohibitions apply to an event or gathering even if it is held at a private dwelling. These prohibitions also do not apply to gatherings of members of a single household or to a gathering for the purposes of a funeral service that is attended by not more than 10 people. Exemptions apply to operating emergency child care centres supporting policing personnel, frontline health care workers, and other first responders, provided the number of persons present at each centre does not exceed 50 people.

The OPP will continue to educate the public about the rules under the EMCPA and enforce through a charge as a last resort.

We remind everyone that ‘flattening the curve’ requires us to work together to ensure the current short-term restrictions are in place no longer than necessary.

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