Dresden school principal fined for breaking COVID-19 lockdown order in 2020

(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Klementiev)

A principal at a private school in Dresden has been fined for holding a large gathering during a COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020.

Heinrich Unger, who is the principal of the Dresden Private Mennonite School, was fined $2,000 by the Provincial Offences Court in Blenheim on Wednesday for violating the Reopening Ontario Act.

Unger held a holiday event for parents and students in December of 2020.

At the time, he admitted to CK News Today that he had made a mistake holding the event. Unger said he didn’t cancel the annual holiday event because he thought it was permitted. Unger said he “wasn’t familiar” with the COVID-19 protection rules in place at the time. He promised not to hold large indoor gatherings during the pandemic again. Unger noted people were following safe distancing rules and about 70 per cent were wearing masks. He also said signs were displayed on the doors about the symptoms of COVID-19.

The gathering involved more than 50 parents and students.

Unger has 180 days to pay the $2,000 fine.

He’s the second person in Chatham-Kent to be fined for violating the Reopening Ontario Act. In May of 2022, Liz Vallee was the first local resident to get penalized for holding two anti-lockdown rallies in Chatham in April of 2021 during the stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A Wallaceburg woman accused of organizing a protest in Chatham against COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 is waiting for her trial. The case of Laura Myers will be heard in Provincial Offences Court in Blenheim on October 17, 2022. Myers was charged with failing to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act after a protest at Tecumseh Park on November 21, 2020 and a march through the downtown core afterwards. The rally held by the Chatham-Kent Freedom Group was attended by about 100 people.