Vancouver party host out on bail after spending Christmas in jail

VANCOUVER — A man who spent Christmas in jail after police say he hosted parties in violation of public health orders is now bound by bail conditions that require him to answer the door at his home in Vancouver if officers knock.

Sgt. Steve Addison said police tried unsuccessfully to explain the risk of large gatherings to the man before issuing multiple warnings and fining him twice.

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"People have called us complaining about large social gatherings and noise complaints and ample warning was given to this individual," Addison told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, he's made it clear that he has no intention to stop and our officers were able to obtain an arrest warrant."

The man was taken into custody on Christmas Day and spent the night in jail, police say.

Officers encountered large groups of people at the man's home when they responded to complaints, Addison said.

The man's bail conditions require him to comply with public health orders that allows those living alone to host a limit of two people they see regularly, police said.

The Vancouver Police Department has received 12 complaints about noise and parties at the man’s home since September, Addison said.

Officers issued two tickets for $2,300 earlier this month and obtained an arrest warrant after a neighbour complained about another loud party on Dec. 18.

"This should serve as a reminder to anyone who thinks it’s still OK to ignore the public health order and put other people at risk," Addison said.

"I understand that people are longing for social contact and want things to be back to the way they were. Unfortunately, we're not there yet. We're asking people to abide by the public health order. We're asking people to stay home or stay close to home."

Police have issued 21 tickets related to social gatherings prohibited by public health measures that are in place until Jan. 8, Addison said.

Extra officers will be enforcing public health orders on New Year's Eve, primarily in the downtown area.

Bars and restaurants will be open until 10 p.m., but police do not want people spilling onto the streets at that time and gathering in groups, as happened on Halloween, Addison said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 30, 2020.

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