Ontario politician denounces fines for thanksgiving dinners exceeding 10 guests
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TORONTO, Canada, October 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — An Ontario politician blasted Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government over a fine of CA$10,000 for having more than 10 people at home amid the coronavirus crisis.
Belinda Karahalios, Independent Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Cambridge, also slammed the Tories for implementing the rule province-wide, even though three regions alone — Toronto, Ottawa and Peel — account for 70 percent of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.
“They were going to crack down on wild parties, supposedly as a result,” Karahalios said during Question Period at Queen’s Park last Monday.
“Residents of rural Ontario and other regions who have not experienced significant increases in positive COVID cases are living with new laws telling them they can’t have more than 10 people in their home for Thanksgiving,” added the rookie MPP.
“Eleven people over for Thanksgiving does not constitute a wild party.”
Karahalios had been turfed from the Ford caucus in July for voting against Bill 195, the coronavirus response bill that gave the government power to extend the state of emergency for two years without consulting the legislature.
She noted that she sponsored an anti-corruption bill last year that proposed that perpetrators of voter fraud in internal political party elections be fined CA$5,000.
The government “scoffed” at the size of the fine and rejected the bill on the grounds that “political parties were above the law and they could ‘govern themselves,’” she said.
The Ford Tories have now decreed that all 14.5 million Ontarians “should be subject to $10,000 fine if they have people over for Thanksgiving and by some mistake, an 11th person shows up,” said Karahalios.
“Clearly, and I’m being sarcastic here, clearly, the people of Ontario do not know how to govern themselves.”
Last week at Queen's Park I spoke against the @fordnation government's $10,000 fines for people who have 11 family members in their homes for Thanksgiving. Watch the video for my reasons... part 1 of 2. #cdnpoli #onpoli pic.twitter.com/O6yCwOZLCO— Belinda Karahalios, MPP (@KarahaliosPC) October 5, 2020
Karahalios also denounced the government for encouraging Ontarians to “call bylaw or police” if they see a number of vehicles in their neighbor’s driveway.
“Charging someone $10,000 and pitting neighbour against neighbour is just something, to me, that’s quite surprising coming from a Conservative government,” she said.
Here is the 2nd part of my time last week at Queen's Park speaking against the @fordnation government's $10,000 fines for those who have 11 people in their homes for Thanksgiving. Part 2 of 2. #cdnpoli #onpoli pic.twitter.com/ebtgeUg8og— Belinda Karahalios, MPP (@KarahaliosPC) October 5, 2020
The Ford government announced on September 19 that given the rise in reported COVID cases, “unmonitored and private social gatherings” across the province would be immediately restricted to 10 people for indoor functions, and 25 people for outdoor functions, and that “indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together.”
Such events include “functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.” Organizers of such events could be fined up to CA$10,000.
On September 25, the government announced province-wide restrictions on the hours for alcohol sales and opening for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other food and drink establishments. It also closed all strip clubs.
On October 2, the Ford Tories announced a province-wide mandate for “the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings” such as “businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services,” with further restrictions for Toronto, Ottawa and Peel regions.
Before these restrictions, Ford told a press conference September 8 that people should call the cops if they suspected their neighbors were holding a prohibited party. He also encouraged police to lay charges, saying: “We have to bring the hammer down.”
Karahalios is not alone in her critique: Independent MPP Randy Hillier has also blasted the government over ongoing coronavirus restrictions, and Concerned Ontario Doctors, headed by Dr. Kulvinder Gill, are also vocally opposed to lockdown measures and the need for a vaccine. Gill recently said the “smears against hydroxychloroquine” as an effective treatment for COVID-19 need to stop.
Meanwhile, Rebel News’ David Menzies reported last week on what he billed the “largest anti-lockdown protest in Canada yet,” which took place in Toronto September 26.
Attended by hundreds, the protest was organized by a group styling itself “Yahoo Nation,” in reference to Ford branding attendees at a Queen’s Park protest against coronavirus restrictions in April as “a bunch of yahoos.”
Although Toronto police ticketed one of the organizers CA$880 for breaching quarantine, there was no report of them issuing a CA$10,000 fine to anyone, and they also provided an escort as the group marched up Yonge Street to Yorkville and back down to Dundas Square, according to Menzies.
While the data show Ontario’s positive COVID-19 cases rising in the past few weeks, hospitalization rates, including ICU admissions, as well as deaths, have remained low, with the province reporting 192 people in hospital because of COVID-19 and 41 of them in ICU, including 26 on ventilators, as of October 6.
The province reported 14 deaths from COVID-19 between September 13 to 26, with all deceased aged 60 and over, and 27 deaths from COVID-19 between September 27 to October 4.
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