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Police in Kingston, Ottawa readying for St. Patrick's day parties

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It’s a St. Patrick’s Day tradition in both Kingston and Ottawa, as thousands of students are expected to gather again for the green celebrations. 

For the first time in years, thee are no COVID-19 gathering limits, so no threat of $10,000 fines and a court summons for breaking them.

For many, there’s a growing sense of normalcy.

“I can see it being quite large. People are just pent up and ready to explode,” says Queen’s University grad student Madison Ames, who says she won’t be participating in any large events. “I feel like people are over COVID at this point and I feel like they’ll do whatever they want regardless of COVID.”

Her friend Cheryl Low agrees.

“Back when it wasn’t opened up it was still big. So I think it’s reasonable to say it’ll be pretty big.”

Kingston police Sgt. Steve Koopman says thousands could be in the streets once agai. He’s calling on students to abide by the laws. 

“We are coming out of the pandemic we know that that’s led to behaviour where, again, youth, party goers, whomever, are trying to enjoy themselves,” he says. “But at the same time we’re asking them to do so responsibly and legally.”

In Ottawa, officers are sharing the same concerns, with a focus on Sandy Hill and the ByWard Market. 

“Officers have been going door to door, they’ve hit more than 1,300 residents at this point just hearing residents concerns, just hearing different addresses that might be of some concern,” Const. Sebastien Lemay told CTV News at Noon. 

In Kingston, those breaking the rules could face $2,000 fines. Those are still hefty, especially for students.

But students say they still expect parties to return.

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