19 golfers charged over the weekend at the Bridges in Tillsonburg, Ont.
LONDON, ONT. -- Nineteen golfers were charged under the Reopening Ontario Act over the weekend after playing the Bridges at Tillsonburg golf course in Tillsonburg, Ont.
Among them was Rick Cober of Kitchener, Ont. who wanted to sarcastically thank Premier Doug Ford for his $880 fine.
"These are kind of ridiculous. We are socially distanced out there," says Cober.
"The clubhouse is doing a great job, only two people in at a time masks on, socially distance. There's no big deal about this, this is an outdoor activity that can be played perfectly away from each other."
However, Cober proceeded to tell CTV News London that he and his playing partner who was in the car with him travelled from Kitchener to Tillsonburg.
It's for that reason the government has been reinforcing for two weeks that courses are being kept closed.
"There's the activity itself and then there is getting to the activity," said Dr. Dirk Huyer, chief coroner for Ontario.
"People might have shared vehicles and in vehicles being in close contact while a greater chance potentially of transmission. So I think it's really thinking about the broad picture where mobility again becomes one of the key fundamental factors to think about in ensuring that we reduce our mobility, reduce our movement, and therefore, limit our intersections with others, except for those where they may need to for a variety of reasons, or if there's a particular family member or friend that they would be associating with," he adds.
Citing privacy reasons, the OPP would not tell CTV News where any of the 19 golfers fined in Tillsonburg reside. They did however say a large number of them were from different parts of southwestern Ontario.
Since the course opened, CTV News London has spoken to golfers who travelled from Six Nations of the Grand River, Kitchener and London.
Although the golf industry doesn't support the Bridges opening, they do continue to say golf is safe.
Golf Ontario has been lobbying with the government, and executive director Mike Kelly recently released this plea.
"To the Ontario (government), I am asking you to heed the clear evidence, golf is safe. All of us proved that in 2020, and in early 2021. Its not just about golf, but soccer field,s and tennis courts as well. The science is clear."
At this point, both sides have their heels dug in. Unless golfers stop showing up due to getting ticketed, or the government makes any changes to the Reopening Ontario Act, it looks like this stalemate and debate will continue.