The Canadian Justice Department announced on Tuesday that a British Columbia man who hosts large parties of children was sentenced to a further two years’ probation and will not be able to host parties involving minors for the duration of his probation. The man, whom the Canadian police identified only as Jeremy Robert Parkinson, is the third Canadian Party Hosting Welfare Order (COVID-19) holder to be sentenced for violating the order. (Another man, David Joshua, was given a four-year sentence in 2017 and the third, Robert Reiter, was given a 19-month sentence in 2016.) It is unclear how many parties Parkinson hosts regularly, but according to a letter he wrote to the British Columbia Ministry of Justice, his next party will be held Aug. 24. He has also applied for membership in Alcoholics Anonymous, a program for alcoholics and addicts who commit crimes.
Parkinson’s sentence comes after police arrested him on April 27 for violating the order by hosting parties with “several” minors in attendance at his home. The order specifically specifies that adults cannot host children under 16 in their homes and makes it illegal for the people at the party to be under the age of 16, even if they are guests at a party for a minor. It does not specifically specify a maximum age for adults, which is why the order was developed in a way that may seem baffling to the uninitiated: An order which bars adults from holding parties with any underage children, but does not prescribe a maximum or minimum age of over-16s. It thus gives police discretion to decide how to enforce the order. Parkes, who used to host parties attended by numerous underage children, told police that he began hosting parties around April 1 of this year to celebrate his brother’s birthday; on this occasion, more than 100 teenagers were present. He described how these parties often took place during school breaks or after classes had let out, with children staying over for several days. This age range is indicative of how broad and general the definition of “under-16” under the order is. According to Parkinson, he was only allowed to host parties between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. after being warned by the Ministry of Justice that he was in violation of the COVID-19.