After a nearly three-week saga, the organizer of Sunwing’s ill-fated trip to Mexico is back in Quebec – and was ticketed on the way across the border for entering Canada after the curfew began 10 p.m. Sunday evening.
Those on the trip were shunned by three Canadian airlines operating along the Cancun-Montreal route.
But James William Awad told CTV News he decided to drive across the border instead of flying to escape unwanted attention.
“I was just trying to escape the reporters waiting for me at the airport,” he wrote in a post Monday night.
“That’s why I went from New York to Montreal in a U-Haul.”
He said he was arrested by the police around 2:30 a.m., “two hours before the end of the curfew”.
The Sunday evening curfew was the last, for now, as the government announced last week that it would lift the rule from Monday.
“I don’t believe this ticket is valid,” Awad said. “But we will see.
The Quebec provincial police said that around 3 a.m., officers from the Napierville detachment did respond to a violation of a public health rule by three men.
Napierville is a small town just north of Lacolle, the border crossing that connects New York to Montreal along the busy I-87 highway.
The men were fined $1,500 each because “they were driving on Highway 15 in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle…outside their home for no reason,” the gate said. – police spokesperson, Audrey-Anne Bilodeau.
“It was banned because of the curfew,” she said.
Bilodeau said she couldn’t provide the men’s names because they weren’t charged with anything, only a fine.
The trip, planned for a group of more than 100 Quebec reality TV stars and social media influencers, made headlines earlier this month after videos emerged showing them partying without masks. on the flight and when a passenger later said that some of them had faked their COVID-19 tests.
Legal consequences appear to be underway for some of the passengers on the trip after Health Canada and other authorities began sending files to Quebec prosecutors regarding various alleged violations.
There were also more personal consequences for at least one participant. Pierre Seklaoui, a real estate agent who worked for RE/MAX Quebec, was fired, the company told CTV News.
“After evaluating the situation surrounding the recent actions of Mr. Pierre Seklaoui, his agency, in agreement with the franchisor RE/MAX Quebec, has decided to terminate Mr. Seklaoui’s contract, effective January 7, 2022”, added wrote RE/MAX spokesperson Marie-Eve Gélinas in a press release.
“Obviously… we dissociate ourselves and deplore these behaviors which go against the values conveyed by our network.”
Seklaoui is the latest of several people to lose their jobs after their connection to the trip became public knowledge, including another estate agent.