MONTREAL -- People caught partying in the Laurentians over the weekend have to pay a total of $55,656 in fines.

Mirabel police were called to a residence Saturday around 9:30p.m., after they were alerted about an illegal gathering. When they arrived, officers shut down a party of 36 people.

Police stayed about two hours, the time to give each partier a ticket for $1,546.


Meanwhile Montreal police issued 773 COVID-related tickets and general offence reports in the past week, an increase from the week before, when 583 were given.

Hundreds of these are related to religious gatherings in the Outremont borough, and a police operation that followed.

Police responded to three calls about gatherings at places of worship Friday night and Saturday morning. The SPVM said it wrote reports on 35 people at a first location Friday night, and 17 and 14 people at two separate gatherings Saturday morning.

The reports are in the hands of Crown prosecutors, who can give the offenders the same fines as those that exist in Quebec for breaking any other public health rule. Police explained that while current laws allow officers to ticket offenders on the spot in certain situations – such as at parties, for not wearing masks or for breaking curfew – those special powers do not extend to religious gatherings, where they still have to go through prosecutors.

In addition to breaking public health rules, police say arrests were made for obstructing the work of police, assaulting police officers and uttering threats.

Following the arrests, the SPVM deployed officers in the Outremont and Plateau Mont-Royal boroughs this weekend. It visited a dozen places of worships. Nine of those were found to be violating public health laws, and a total of 223 people got written up.

Meanwhile, 396 tickets were given by the SPVM over the last week for curfew violations -- a slight increase from the previous week when officers handed out 353.

Quebec provincial police handed out 531 tickets last week, including 379 for curfew violations, 80 of which were on provincial highways.