Emergency order issued to close Gord Downie Pier, Breakwater Park beach

Update: On Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, the City of Kingston closed both Breakwater Park and Gord Edgar Downie Pier to the public due to large crowds amassing in the spaces.

Original article:

Following consultations with KFL&A Public Health and Kingston Police, City Of Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson has decided to close Gord Downie Pier and the beach area of Breakwater Park effective Saturday, Sep. 5, 2020.

“In discussions with Dr. Moore and Kingston Police, it’s become clear the large crowds at Gord Downie Pier and the beach area at Breakwater Park have made it too difficult to maintain or enforce physical distancing,” said Paterson in a post explaining the decision.

“Public safety remains my top priority, so based on Dr. Moore’s recommendation, I have issued an amended emergency order to close both the pier and the beach area for the rest of the season. The rest of Breakwater Park remains open for use with physical distancing.”

The order was made by amending the existing emergency order already in place and prohibits the public from using this area of the Park at any time. While the beach area is off-limits, the remainder of the Breakwater Park will still be accessible to the public and subject to the 2 metres distancing requirement under the current emergency order.

“The City has been working closely with Kingston Police and KFL&A Public Health to address potential COVID-19 risks in the community. Today’s closure of the beach area of Breakwater Park and Gord Downie Pier at the recommendation of Public Health respects their expertise in this pandemic and is another step in protecting the health of our community,” said a City of Kingston press release.

“It follows concerns with the lack of adherence to physical distancing recommendations by large numbers of people who have continued to gather at the beach area of Breakwater Park and Gord Downie Pier. This follows the implementation of an emergency order issued September 4 by Mayor Bryan Paterson under Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) to ensure physical distancing is being followed in all City Parks.”

The emergency order will remain in effect for 28 days unless revoked before and may be extended for a further period.

Other City parks remain open, but the emergency order requires individuals to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from each other. Exceptions are provided for members of single household or same family or for groups of ten or less.

The emergency orders come under the authority of powers made available under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, after Mayor Paterson declared a state of emergency on March 26, 2020. Under Bylaw 2020-068, the head of City Council may make orders that are believed necessary and essential under the circumstances to prevent or mitigate harm to individuals.

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