Halifax police fine 22 people after large overnight gathering
Fines worth $1,000 each were handed out at home on Jubilee Road
Halifax police have ticketed 22 people for breaking COVID-19 regulations after a large gathering in the city that began on Friday night.
In the early morning hours of Saturday around 1 a.m., Halifax police responded to a report of a "large social gathering" at a residence on Jubilee Road that was exceeding the provincially mandated gathering limits.
Officers issued summary offence tickets for failing to comply with the regulations in the provincial Health Protection Act.
Each carries a fine of $1,000.
Gathering limits down to five people
The recent increase in cases of COVID-19 prompted a new lockdown for the Halifax Regional Municipality and some surrounding areas effective Friday morning, with measures including limitations on gatherings, closure of in-restaurant dining and personal services, and restrictions on travelling in and out of locked-down areas.
The indoor and outdoor gathering limit for the Halifax area was reduced to five people, with an exception for large families living in the same home.
Nova Scotia reported 44 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the province's total known active caseload to 150. Another 52 were announced Saturday.
A photo began circulating on social media on Saturday showing a group of young people purportedly holding tickets issued by the police.
The photo is captioned "Tickets on tickets #worthit."
Dalhousie University initially tweeted that it was aware of the photo but had no way of knowing if the people charged were students at the university. But it later changed its position, saying that Dalhousie students were in attendance and the university was "considering immediate suspension."
Update to our community: we're taking this situation very seriously. The health and safety of our community is paramount. We have now identified Dal students in attendance, and are considering immediate suspension and all other options available under the Code of Student Conduct. <a href="https://t.co/VhHhzGNjmo">https://t.co/VhHhzGNjmo</a>—@DalhousieU
The actions of the people in the photo, as well as Dalhousie's initial response, drew considerable criticism with many people on Twitter expressing dissatisfaction.
Responding to a question about the gathering on Saturday, Premier Iain Rankin described it as "irresponsible."
"Some people think that they're invincible, and they're not," he said. "They need to stop."
"They need to make sure that they're protecting not only everyone else around them, but their own selves."