Charges against golf club include 19 against patrons: OPP

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The Bridges at Tillsonburg was again charged by OPP on May 1 after the golf course continued to operate over the past week in defiance of provincial lockdown restrictions.

Provincial police announced The Bridges at Tillsonburg was charged with two counts of failing to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act. The matter will be heard in court on June 3.

Five unnamed individuals were also charged on April 30 under the Reopening Ontario Act, police said.

Meanwhile, 19 patrons of the golf club have been charged, each facing a fine of $750, OPP said Monday.

The charges were made under the Reopening Ontario Act on May 1 and 2, said OPP.

Golfers could be seen on the greens at the Bridges at Tillsonburg last Friday afternoon as provincial police looked on. Officers could be seen taking notes while snapping photos of golfers. Several carts and golfers in groups of three and four were visible on parts of the course.

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The course was first charged on April 29, and golfers continued to be seen on the course the next morning.

Police have declined to answer questions about enforcement actions at the course, citing the ongoing investigation.

While the fine levied at the golf course will be determined in court, the course faces a fine of up to $10 million. Individuals face a minimum fine of $750, but could face maximum penalties of up to $100,000 and a year in jail if convicted.

The charges come a week after the facility in Tillsonburg’s south end allowed golfers to hit the links, with tee times booked up for the entire April 24-25 weekend. Golf carts could also be seen crisscrossing the property.

Emergency rules imposed by the government of Premier Doug Ford when he announced a new stay-at-home order this month — expected to be in place until at least May 20 — ban organized outdoor recreation, including golf and tennis, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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