Aylmer Police Service respects everyone’s rights to a peaceful assembly for the purposes of freedom of expression and religious beliefs. Our role throughout COVID-19 response is to maintain the health and safety of all residents of Aylmer by ensuring that Emergency Orders are adhered to. For Aylmer Police, public safety is our priority as is the maintenance of peace and enforcement of laws to protect the citizens of our community. For this reason, we are taking a measured and least intrusive approach in dealing with this community issue.
On 19th of April 2020, Aylmer Police received 15 complaints from local citizens reporting breach of Emergency Order by a local Church Group located on John St. North Aylmer ON. From 20th to 25th of April 2020 Aylmer Police consulted with local Provincial Prosecutor responsible for Part 1 prosecutions for advice and spoke to the church organizers on several occasions in an attempt to mitigate the situation and find alternative ways to resolve the issue to no avail.
On 26th of April 2020 Aylmer Police responded to a large church gathering on John St. North Aylmer ON. Police observed approximately 61 vehicles parked on the church property with several occupants inside the vehicles listening to the church service being administered by the pastor of the church. This is a third weekend that Aylmer Police responded to the location for reports of Emergency Order contravention.
Violation of the Emergency Order being investigated:
Under Ontario Regulation 52/20 Schedule 1 1. (1)(c) “no person shall attend a gathering of more than five people for the purposes of conducting religious services, rites or ceremonies.
On 26th of April 2020, Aylmer Police did not issue any tickets to those in attendance however; evidence was collected supporting the Emergency Order Contravention.
On 28th of April 2020, an investigator was assigned to review the evidence gathered and a detailed crown brief package was submitted to the Crown Attorney’s office for review and consideration of Part III prosecution. Following a review of the evidence and applicable laws, Aylmer Police will liaise with Crown’s office and proceed based on the consultative recommendation.
Contact: Chief of Police – Zvonko Horvat