Non-residents must pay $120 per day for boats with hefty motors — up from $150 per season
The fee to use a powerboat with a hefty motor in Val-des-Monts lakes with public docks has jumped to a whopping $120 per day — except for residents of the municipality, who are only subject to a $60 fee per year.
The cost used to be $150 per season for non-residents to launch boats with motors that are more than 100 horsepower, while it was free for residents.
Val-des-Monts Coun. Claude Bergeron said the change in fees comes after public consultations.
The new fees, which vary depending on the size of the motor, fall in line with other municipalities, he said.
Cost for public boat launches in Val-des-Monts
Type of boat
Motors of less than 10 HP
Motors of 10-50 HP
Motors of 51-100 HP
Motors of more than 101 HP
Bergeron said the move was not meant to keep those who don’t live in in Val-des-Monts off the municipality’s more than 120 lakes. Only Lake McGregor and Lake Saint-Pierre have public docks.
“We’re not chasing them away, we’re aiming to control boating to protect the water quality of our lakes for future generations,” he said, adding that residents complained they could barely use lakes with public docks on weekends because there were too many boats.
Bergeron emphasized that it’s free for everyone to use non-motorized boats, and minimal for powerboats that use 10 horsepower or less ($5 annually for residents, $10 per day for non-residents).
Right way to tackle problem?
Brian Hepburn said weekends bring in lots of boaters to Lake McGregor, which can be unsafe. The $60 per year fee is not ideal, but he’s willing to pay it for a better boating experience.
“As a cottager on the lake, I’m happy because I think it will reduce some of the traffic,” he said.
Val-des-Monts resident Simon Germain supports banning access to big boats with hefty motors but doesn’t feel “exorbitant prices” is the right move — especially charging residents.
The municipality had “good intentions” to protect the lakes, added Val-des-Monts resident Luc Lanoix, but he wondered if it would limit the number of tourists and boaters who aren’t well-off financially.
City officials and police have now sent 64 warning letters to landlords telling them to shutter pot storefronts.
The Trudeau government promised during last year’s Federal election, that if the Federal Liberal party was elected, they would legalize marijuana. Recently the Federal Liberals announced that legislation would be put into place by April, 2017 legalizing marijuana.
In British Columbia many business owners, aniticipating the inevitable legalization of marijuana, opened “medical cannabis dispensaries” to provide marijuana to those who possessed a prescription for medical marijuana.
Many of those entrepreneurs headed east and landed in Toronto where they decided to open up shop. Health Canada insists that “dispensaries and other sellers of marijuana who are not licensed under the current law are illegal.”
On December 5, 2015 after Trudeau’s appointment as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, businesses were moving into the GTA at an accelerated pace.
Suddenly there was almost 75 medical marijuana dispensaries or cannabis dispensaries with large green signs in Toronto.
Some of these cannabis dispensaries demand to see a prescription for medical marijuana before selling pot. Others will sell a bag of weed to clients after they have had a discussion with what the dispensaries call a “health professional” on staff. The price for a gram is about $10 — or $225 for an ounce.
While medical marijuana is legal, it is supposed to be available only with a prescription from a medical doctor. Even then it must be obtained from one of 31 producers licensed by Health Canada via registered mail — not through storefront shops.
Health Canada takes the position that dispensaries and other sellers of marijuana who are not licensed under the current law are illegal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vow to legalize recreational use has left ambiguity around Health Canada rules, as has a court decision on patients growing their own plants. The rules say only federally-licensed producers can distribute pot, by delivery, to prescription-holding patients.
Last February a B.C. federal court judge, Justice Michael Phelan, struck down restrictions on medical marijuana users growing their own plants. He gave the government six (6) months to pass new rules on medical marijuana. Amid the legal uncertainty that followed, dispensaries have spread like wildfire.
Toronto’s licensing department is planning a crackdown on medical pot dispensaries operating without federal approval and in neighbourhoods not zoned industrial. The letters have already been generated and sent to the businesses and landlord of the property in which the business operates out of.
Photos of other Cannabis Dispensaries on the Danforth:
There were delays in selecting a jury in the murder trial of Bhupinderpal Gill, 40, and Gurpreet Ronald, 37, because jurors asked to step down out of fear they would be ‘traumatized’ by the evidence. The Ottawa trial finally starts today. (CBC)
The trial of Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald was supposed to start earlier this week, but was pushed back twice after several jurors asked to step down.
Gill’s wife, Jagtar Gill, a 43-year-old mother of three, was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in 2014.
Jagtar Gill, 43, was found dead in her home on Jan. 29, 2014. (Courtesy of Gill’s family)
On separate occasions, three female jurors told the judge they were afraid of being traumatized by the expected graphic evidence, and asked to be excused from their civic duties.
After hearing their concerns, Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett agreed to let them go, forcing the court to scramble to find replacements.
Concerns fear being used to shirk jury duty
The president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, Anne London-Weinstein, says she has never seen so many jurors use the same excuse to be removed from their duties.
“Three in one trial? I wonder if they were within earshot of each other during the jury selection process,” she said.
London-Weinstein doesn’t think the evidence will be especially violent, and says she’s concerned about the general unwillingness of the public to serve on juries.
“People are reluctant to do their civic duty because it’s a big interruption in your life,” said London-Weinstein.
The trial is expected to take seven weeks. Although some lawyers are concerned fear of trauma is being used as an excuse to shirk jury duty, the courts must take it into account.
The emotional state of one juror can have an impact on the outcome, says criminal defence lawyer Norm Boxall, who has been involved in many high-profile murder and terror trials over the past 30 years. He says he’s seeing more people get exempted from jury duty because of mental health concerns.
“If a person, for whatever reason in their makeup or background or personality, doesn’t feel like they can do a proper job and do the job impartially, then they should be excused,” said Boxall.
“No one — not the Crown, the defence or the judge — want a juror who won’t be able to do the job.”
Lawyers can’t probe deeper to verify truth
Although Boxall believes anxiety is a valid reason to get out of jury duty, he says it’s impossible to verify a person’s state of mental health. The only information provided to the Crown and defence about potential jurors are their names, addresses and occupation.
Bhupinderpal Gill, left, and Gurpreet Ronald have both been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jagtar Gill. They have pleaded not guilty. (CBC)
Usually lawyers aren’t allowed to pose questions to potential jurors, but sometimes the court clerk can probe for prejudice.
During this trial’s jury selection process, the clerk asked participants who were under oath if they were biased against Sikhs and if they had knowledge of the case through media reports. If they passed that initial test, both the prosecutor and the defence had the right to refuse. The defence teams for Gill and Ronald each had 20 vetoes, while the Crown could issue 40 challenges.
A total of 480 potential jurors were vetted, and most were excused for personal reasons, other than mental health concerns. Some were let go because of sickness, lack of child care or lack of English skills. Others were dismissed because their employer wouldn’t pay them while they were on jury duty, or if they knew one of the witnesses who would be testifying.
It took a total of four days — about twice as long as usual — to get a jury together.
Starting Friday, seven men and five women will hear opening statements.
Qualifications for Jury Duty
Persons in the following professions do not qualify to serve as jurors:
A legally qualified medical practitioner, coroner or veterinary surgeon who is actively engaged in practice
A police officer
A firefighter regularly employed by a fire department
A superintendent, jailer or keeper of a prison, correctional institution or lockup
The warden of a penitentiary
A sheriff or a sheriff’s officer
Armed forces personnel of the regular and special forces and members of the reserve forces on active service
A barrister and/or solicitor or a student-at-law
An officer of a court of justice
A judge or a justice of the peace
A member of the Privy Council of Canada, the Executive Council of Ontario, the Senate, the House of Commons or the Assembly