The organizer of a mobile Halloween community event in Ottawa is being threatened with a $750,000 fine if more than ten people gather along the planned route.
As reported by CBC,
Volunteers have been planning the socially distanced “Great Kanata and Stittsville Spookby and Food Drive” since early September. The plan was to collect food Oct. 31 for the Kanata Food Cupboard from homes on six different predetermined routes.
People were to leave contributions at the ends of their driveways, and a few costumed volunteers would come along — followed by a single, slow-moving decorated truck — and pick them up, place them in the truck, and leave behind bags of candy.
The event's organizer, Crystal Smalldon, told the CBC that an Ottawa City bylaw officer warned her about the risk of police involved and a massive fine.
Further, she says that she was told twice via Ontario's pandemic hotline that her socially distanced event planning did not contravene the rules:
According to Smalldon, an "advance team" was to check out each street five to 10 minutes before the truck arrived to ensure they were clear and people weren't gathering at the ends of their driveways. Each home on the route would get a flyer explaining what was happening, she added.
On October 8, Smalldon updated the official Facebook group for the event, saying in part that since she is "not willing" to entertain the risk, a new plan to raise money for the Katana Food Cupboard is in the works:
Apparently, the typical suspects in our community wish to ensure that no one can participate this year by making vigorous complaints about the event.
Therefore, we have worked with our friends at the [Canadian Tire Centre], where next week a DRIVE THROUGH Halloween experience will be announced!
If you've received an unreasonable COVID-19 ticket and would like legal assistance to fight it, visit FightTheFines.com to learn more!