Ottawa Bylaw issues tickets for two illegal gatherings on New Year’s Day

Ottawa residents were well behaved over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, with only two charges issued for illegal indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The Ontario government introduced new restrictions for social gatherings on Dec. 19, with indoor gatherings capped at 10 people, and outdoor gatherings reduced to 25 people.

Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services tells CTV News Ottawa that officers issued charges for illegal private gatherings at two Ottawa residences on New Year’s Day.

One ticket was issued for an outdoor gathering exceeding limits, while the other ticket was issued for an indoor gathering exceeding limits.

Bylaw also issued one ticket at a private residence on Jan. 1 for obstructing an officer from carrying out their duties. The fine for violating Ontario’s COVID-19 rules is $880.

“Enforcement of COVID-19 related offences is largely conducted on a complaint basis. Residents are encouraged to call 311 and file a report when they believe public health is at risk,” said Roger Chapman, Director of Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services.

“After a call is placed with 3-1-1, BLRS conducts a follow up based on the available information and evidence obtained through investigation, and issues warnings or charges, as appropriate.”

As of Jan. 5, gathering limits in Ontario are now capped at five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.

Chapman says since Dec. 17, officers have investigated 306 requests for service.

“To date, seven warnings and eight charges have been issued for contraventions of the provincial regulations,” said Chapman.

Five charges have been issued to four Ottawa businesses since Dec. 17, including a gym, a restaurant and a barbershop. Two of the charges were for obstructing an officer from carrying out their duties.

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