7 Moments From Sunwing-Famous James William Awad That Are Gloriously Over-The-Top
The flight was only the beginning.
The Sunwing debacle, beginning with the now-infamous flight to Cancun on December 30, has been completely bonkers. Local celebrities and "influencers" didn't just throw a party on a charter flight in apparent, complete disregard of COVID-19 regulations, they shared videos of the party online, and then seemed surprised by the backlash.
And there was backlash. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself called them "idiots." Sunwing said it tried to negotiate their return home, but that the group rejected the company's terms. Sunwing, Air Canada and Air Transat all subsequently refused to let the passengers of the flight fly home, leaving the Trudeau-designated "idiots" to fend for themselves in Mexico.
Many had to travel home via the U.S. — including Awad himself, who hilariously drove across the border in a rented U-Haul truck in the middle of the night and was nabbed by authorities for breaking curfew.
Facilitating the party of the year through his mysterious "111 Private Club" is the most normal thing we know about James William Awad. Here are seven more moments to remember from the trip organizer.
He's threatening legal action against Sunwing
Awad announced in a press conference on Thursday that he intends to pursue legal action against Sunwing for "abandoning" 154 people in Mexico. He claimed that by booking a return flight in advance, he entered into a contract with Sunwing, which Sunwing broke. Awad added that if the party was as dangerous as people say, the pilot would have performed an emergency landing.
It is worth noting that Sunwing has said it did offer a return flight but cancelled it when the group rejected its conditions.
Awad said he's also "looking at options" in his dispute with Air Canada and Air Transat.
He's reportedly building a tiny empire in his neighbourhood
The Journal de Montréal reported that Awad has snatched up many of the properties surrounding his Bois-des-Filion home. So far he has reportedly bought several homes and a wooded area in his neighbourhood, spending over $6 million on expanding his little kingdom.
Awad has converted homes on his property into a spa and a recording studio, according to the report.
He's in trouble with the mayor of Bois-des-Filion
Awad remains in trouble with the municipality. Mayor of Bois-des-Filion Gilles Blanchette told the Journal de Montréal, "we have several files open with Mr. Awad, notably concerning construction without a permit. When he buys his properties, he makes changes, but he doesn't ask permission."
Blanchette added that Awad's properties are in "a residential area for single-family homes and not for commercial activities."
He has apparently erected statues of himself on his property
Yes, you read that correctly. Among other interesting landscaping choices (including carved threats of "sudden death" for trespassers), Awad has scattered statues across his property, which the Journal de Montréal suspects are statues of himself.
A statue reportedly stands in front of his spa, decked out in a bathrobe. Another apparently stands in front of his recording studio, carrying a microphone. Two more statues, with angel wings, dressed like ancient Greek soldiers and carrying swords, flank the driveway of his private residence, according to the report.
"I didn't know he has statues and plaques [threatening death]," mayor Blanchette told the Journal de Montréal. "I saw all them at the same time as everyone else who read the article. I fell out of my chair seeing the statues."
He said he won't pay the fine for breaking curfew
Here's the 3 Curfew Fines my friends and I have received at 3:00 AM on our way back home from US to Canada, 2 hours before end of curfew. I'm not gonna pay it :). I'm donating that money to a good cause instead. pic.twitter.com/iveVOkQ8Tu— James William Awad (@111jameswilliam) January 19, 2022
In a press conference held by Awad on Thursday, he explained that he returned to Canada on January 16 by driving a U-Haul across the Quebec-New York border in the middle of the night, ironically in order to avoid media attention. Once in Quebec he was fined for breaking curfew.
Awad then took to Twitter, laughing that he found out about the fine by reading the news and stating that he would donate the fine's amount "to a good cause" instead of paying it.
He thinks public health measures should be a personal choice
I support vaccines. But, I agree it should be a choice. Quarantine? a choice. Curfew? a choice. Imagine 1 person decides what you can or can't do for something that can affect us physically or mentally. 2 years wasted. Omicron is less deadly cause everybody caught covid before. pic.twitter.com/i9Bg4sIg9G— James William Awad (@111jameswilliam) January 26, 2022
As a person who talks a lot about "decentralization," it's perhaps no surprise that Awad is against the government-mandated COVID-19 rules. In a January 25 tweet, Awad stated that all precautions should be left up to personal choice.
Despite a significant rise in hospitalizations across the province in January, he posited that the Omicron variant is "less deadly" because "everyone caught covid before."
He has a TV show in the works
The recent Sunwing debacle has garnered Awad a lot of attention, including from TV executives. Director and producer Simon Sachel has reportedly gained exclusive rights for a series about Awad.
"We want to film the before, during and after the media turmoil, behind the scenes of this whirlwind and demystify the man, his origins, his career as a musician, his businesses, the legacy he wants to leave and his projects," Sachel told the Journal de Montréal.
Sachel intends to air the series through online streaming services.
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