Organizers Charged in Hugs Over Masks Protests in Downtown
Hamilton Police have charged the organizers of two Hugs Over Masks events that took place in the area of Bay Street South and Main Street West on Sunday, January 3, 2021 and Sunday, January 10, 2021. The events were in protest of the current COVID restrictions.
On January 3, 2021 there were over 40 in attendance and on January 10, 2021 there were over 60 in attendance.
Prior to the event on January 10, 2021, Hamilton Police identified the organizers and informed them that the planned gathering would be breaching offences under the Reopening Ontario Act and that charges would apply. The organizers went ahead with the event.
The Hamilton Police Service attended both events and confirmed that the number of attendees exceeded the number permitted for an outdoor gathering. The organizers were present at both events.
A person convicted of this offence is liable to a minimum fine of $10,000.
Hamilton Police are reminding the public that participation in such events could result in charges being laid pursuant to the Reopening Ontario Act.
Residents are encouraged to stay at home when ill, maintain a two metre distance (six feet) from others, wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible, wash hands frequently with soap and water, and cover coughs or sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue to help stop the spread of COVID-19.