Jukasa News Update – Monday, November 16, 2020
Police say the organizer of an anti-mask protest that took place in Hamilton last weekend has been charged.
They say more than 100 people attended the event – called Hugs Over Masks – that was held outside city hall to protest against COVID-19 restrictions.
Police say they had warned the 26-year-old organizer that the event would be an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act.
The limit for outdoor public gatherings in Hamilton at the time was 100 people.
Police say that despite their warning, the organizer went ahead with the protest.
If convicted, they may face a minimum fine of $10,000.
Three regions in the Toronto area join the COVID-19 red zone today.
The stricter public health measures come into effect in Hamilton, York and Halton regions.
Toronto joined Peel Region in the red alert level _ the highest short of a full lockdown _ on Saturday.
Another six regions, such as Durham and Waterloo, will move to the orange alert level, and six more, including Windsor-Essex and Sudbury, will join the yellow alert level.
Today’s developments come just days after Premier Doug Ford lowered the thresholds for his colour-coded restrictions system.
He said on Friday that recent COVID-19 projections show the province is “staring down the barrel of another lockdown.”
A wind storm that swept through swaths of southern and central Ontario has left hundreds of thousands of residents without power.
Hydro One said it was working to restore electricity to more than 200,000 clients, while Toronto Hydro reported an outage affecting thousands more.
Both say some of those outages could last through the night.
Environment Canada placed a stretch of southern Ontario spanning from Windsor to Kingston and up past Sudbury under a wind warning in the midafternoon, which remained in place into the night.
The national forecaster warned wind gusts could reach 90 kilometres per hour or more.
Peel Regional Police said crews were out fixing downed power lines west of Toronto in the early evening, while Windsor police reported several residents were left in the dark.
Halton police, meanwhile, said dispatchers received reports of trees downed on roadways in more than 30 locations in the course of 90 minutes.
The COVID-19 crisis has overshadowed an equally dark pandemic of opioid overdoses, which have risen sharply since March as the border closure and limited access to services raise fatal risks for drug users.
Jurisdictions across the country have reported an increase in overdose deaths tied to opioids, a stark reversal of the 13 per cent decline in fatal opioid overdoses between 2018 and 2019.
British Columbia saw more than 100 deaths each month between March and August, with the death toll breaching 175 in May, June and July, according to numbers compiled by the Public Health Agency of Canada last month.
The 181 deaths in June were a 138 per cent increase from the 76 fatalities in the same period a year earlier.
The situation is no better in Ontario, where an estimated 50 to 80 people per week are dying of overdoses.
- Previous Jukasa News Update – Thursday, November 12, 2020
- Next Jukasa News Update – Friday, November 20, 2020