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Police break up crowds at 2 separate Diwali gatherings in Peel Region

Last Updated Nov 15, 2020 at 12:50 pm EST

An undated file image of Peel Regional Police vehicle (TWITTER/@PRP)

Concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in Peel Region led to police breaking up two separate Diwali gatherings at temples in Brampton and Mississauga Saturday night.

At both sites, crowds of over 700 people formed, despite earlier discussions between municipal officials and community members to try to keep the events safe.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said the temples maintained the correct number of people inside, but the parking lots quickly filled up with people.

“They failed to properly prepare for crowd control,” he said.

The City of Brampton has issued a fine to one of the temples.

Peel Region continues to deal with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, the region said they will begin to fine businesses and organizations that fail to follow local COVID-19 health guidelines.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, chief medical officer of health for Peel Region, said businesses could be fined up to $5,000 a day for flouting public health protocols, warning that workplace outbreaks are driving case counts higher.