Statement from Regional Chair Bradley regarding the recent issuance of provincial summons
Earlier today, a number of Niagara Region residents were issued Part III summonses under both the Reopening Ontario Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act in relation to the anti-lockdown demonstrations that took place April 10, 2021.
If found guilty, individuals could fines of up to $100,000. The act also has provisions for imprisonment for a period not exceeding year.
These residents are entitled to due process on this matter. It is important to note that all of these individuals are presumed innocent until proven in court.
That said, I want to remind residents of the seriousness of the third wave of COVID-19 and the potential penalties that could be levied should you be found to have broken provincial directives. The provincial stay-at-home orders are designed to help protect the health and safety of residents, and willfully breaking these rules could result in serious fines and even jail time.
As Regional Chair, I fully respect an individual’s Charter right to peacefully assemble and express themselves. However, all residents are strongly reminded that such gatherings cannot breach any applicable statues or municipal by-laws.
I would encourage residents who may be planning to attend future demonstrations to seriously reconsider. Even if these residents struggle to accept the legitimate health and safety risks associated with large gatherings, I suggest they consider the potential personal repercussions of significant fines and jail time.
In regards to Councillor Bylsma, I want to assure the public that I have heard their concerns and I am taking this issue seriously. To that end, we will be discussing this matter as council in the coming days.
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