COVID-19 gathering charges laid against Queen’s students

Three students issued Provincial Offences Court summons after large party on Aberdeen

The accused are liable to a fine and imprisonment if convicted. 
Credit: 
Kingston Police

Kingston Police have laid charges against three individuals following a large street party on Aberdeen St. on Jul. 4. It’s estimated hundreds were in attendance.

According to a Kingston Police press release, three tenants of one residence on Aberdeen, all identified as Queen’s students, were charged with hosting a gathering of greater than 25 people, an offense under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).

The accused were issued a summons to appear in the Provincial Offences Court in October.

The three students have been charged with an offence under section 10.1 of the ROA. A person who’s convicted of an offence under section 10.1 is liable to a fine between $10,000 and $100,000 and a term of imprisonment up to one year.

“Kingston police wish to remind occupiers of residences, whether owners or tenants, that if they are present at an event or gathering on that premise, it is presumed by legislation, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, they are hosting or organizing the event or gathering,” the organization stated in a media release.

“If the owner or tenant of a premise does not condone or does not wish uninvited people to come onto the property or into the residence, they are asked to contact Kingston police who can enforce offences under the Trespass to Property Act or other related statutes.”

Investigation of tenants of other properties who may have hosted, organized, or condoned the large gathering is ongoing.

Kingston Police asked those who have additional information about the identities of any other gathering participants to contact constable Cam Mack at cmack@kingstonpolice.ca. Those who wish to provide tips anonymously can also call the Kingston Police general number at 613-549-4660 ext. 0. 

The identities of the students will be shared with the University to determine if penalties within the Student Code of Conduct are to be applied in this circumstance.

In an email sent to The Journal, Mark Erdman, manager of community relations and issues, said the students facing charges could be subject to a range of possible university sanctions for noncompliance under the Student Code of Conduct.

“We are grateful for the efforts of our police and bylaw officials, who have a challenging job and play an important role in our collective efforts to keep our community healthy and safe.” Erdman said. 

“While the University supports students being accountable for their behaviour, we also appreciate the majority of Queen’s students have followed public health guidelines throughout the last 18 months, and the police have made efforts to recognize this in their enforcement activities.”

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.