Windsor automotive meetup attracts dozens regardless of smaller gathering dimension guidelines
Dozens of people attended a car meetup at a Windsor shopping plaza over the weekend, despite the province significantly reducing the number of people allowed for outdoor public gatherings and hiking fines for any rule breakers.
While it’s unclear how many people attended the event at Tecumseh Road E. and McDougall Street, crowds exceeded the more than the 25-person cap that the province mandated on Saturday. A portion of the event was captured in a live Facebook video, showing groups of people not wearing masks or physical distancing.
The Windsor Police Service told CBC News its officers received a noise complaint related to the event around 11:15 pm Saturday and that they “peacefully” dispersed the crowd.
No charges were laid, according to police.
Windsor Police say they received a noise complaint about the event and dispersed the crowds, though no charges were laid. (Ron Shepley/Facebook)
On Saturday morning, the province implemented new gathering limits that allow 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. The rules are in place for the next 26 days.
Organizers of events that break the rules risk facing a minimum fine of $10,000 and guests could be charged $750.
CBC News reached out to officials at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), who said they are looking to see if they received any complaints about the event.
WECHU did not respond by time of publication.
More than 25 people, which is the provincial limit for outdoor gatherings, crowded outside on Saturday and were not wearing masks or adhering to physical distancing rules. (Ron Shepley/Facebook)
“Mega Meet 2.0” in Hamilton gets Premier’s attention
Meanwhile, Hamilton police are investigating to find — and charge — the organizers of the “Mega Meet 2.0” car show that they say drew hundreds of vehicles and large crowds across several parking lots in Ancaster on Saturday.
The gathering caught the attention of Premier Doug Ford.
“As for the organizers, you know something guys, I don’t get it, I just don’t get it,” Ford said, at a news conference Monday.
“If we weren’t so backlogged on MRIs, I’d send you to the MRI to get your brain scanned because I don’t think there’s anything in there. We get the protocols out there and they just blatantly ignore the people, you got to really wonder.”
With help from Peel Regional Police, York Regional Police and Ontario Provincial Police, Hamilton officers broke up the large gathering of car enthusiasts at Cineplex Cinemas on Golf Links Road.
But despite it wildly surpassing the limits placed on gatherings earlier that day by the provincial government, police say no one there was charged or fined.
WATCH: Hamilton Police break up car-meet that sees hundreds of attendees
Hamilton police break up impromptu car show in Ancaster, Ont.
“Given the size of the crowd, and the overall risk to public safety, the need to disperse the crowd outweighed the ability to find specific individuals at that time,” said Supt. Will Mason of the Hamilton police in a media event on Sunday.
A Hamilton investigating team has since taken over. If the organizers are identified, police say they won’t hesitate to charge them, mostly with fines under the provincial pandemic response.
Both gatherings are taking place as cases across the province continue to soar. As of Monday, the province reported 425 new COVID-19 cases — a number not seen since early June.