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Provincial police say they can't lay charges in relation to Randy Hillier Christmas gathering photo

The Independent MPP has drawn criticism for contravening public health rules during Ontario's province-wide lockdown.
randy hillier christmas
A photo of a holiday gathering posted to social media by Randy Hillier / Randy Hillier

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will not be laying charges in relation to a Christmas gathering, by MPP Randy Hillier, which contravened public health rules.

The Independent MPP from Lanark-Kingston-Frontenac posted a photo on social media, December 27, which showed a large, private gathering where guests were not socially distancing or wearing masks.

The photo was posted the day after Ontario went into a provide-wide lockdown.

Bill Dickson, spokesperson for the OPP East Region, tells CityNews the matter is a health issue.

The statement adds that OPP "cannot lay a charge based solely on a photo posted on social media after the fact."

Provincial police and health officials work in tandem on issues like this one. 

"If people call to make a complaint about gatherings, we will respond and investigate accordingly. Officers have discretion to issue warnings or to issue tickets/charges."

CityNews has reached out to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit for comment, and have not received a response at time of publication.

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