The Doug Ford Progressive Conservatives are getting tough when it comes to social gatherings, reducing the size of such gatherings in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region.
Indoor gatherings in these jurisdictions are now limited, 10 people indoors and 25 people outside, due to a surge in Wuhan virus cases in these areas. In Toronto, 85 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, along with 63 in Peel Region and 39 in Ottawa.
The new restrictions do not apply to “staffed businesses” including restaurants, gyms, movie theatres, and banquet halls. Weddings are also exempt as long as festivities occur in a business such as a banquet hall. As well, the new restrictions won't apply in parks, sports fields or places of worship provided existing mandated physical distancing measures are maintained.
And along with the new measures come hefty new fines. Namely, “organizers of illegal social gatherings” could face a fine of up to $10,000 whereas attendees will be slapped with the existing $880 fines.
Said Premier Doug Ford at a press conference:
We will throw the book at you if you break the rules, and we cannot afford to have a few rule breakers reverse all of the progress Ontario has made over the past six months.
But do the rules apply to protests? If so, the first challenge might come on Saturday when members of so-called “Yahoo Nation” converge upon the lawns of Queen’s Park as they have been doing every Saturday since late April.
Does a showdown loom this Saturday? Also, will our political leaders abide by these rules?
As we have seen on numerous occasions over the last several months, everyone from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Ford to Toronto Mayor John Tory and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown have broken the very rules they have wanted the great unwashed masses to follow.
So, will these leaders now actually lead by example? Or when it comes to the Wuhan virus protocols, is it a matter of “one rule for thee and one rule for me?”