Calgary Backs Off Decision to Increase Parking Tickets by $15.00, Until the Fall

Update: see previous posts – May 23, 2011 Red Deer to Follow Other Alberta Cities; Parking Fines to Rise to Offset Search Fee Costs., May 10, 2011 Increase in Parking Fines – Calgary $40 to $55 & Edmonton $35 to $60

The new $15 service fee for electronic registered owner vehicle searches will cost the City of Calgary millions of dollars that it had not previously budgeted for in 2010.

On April 1, 2011 a new service fee (a $15.00 fee for every electronic search request on a driver’s licence or licence plate) was introduced in the Provincial government’s 2011 budget. Service Ontario announced that this new fee would be charged to municipalities and police for all electronic search requests (for every registered owner vehicle search).  This change increased the operating costs for municipalities, parking authorities and policing forces by millions of dollars.

As a result, the City of Calgary (the largest municipality in Alberta) raised the fine for a parking ticket by fifteen (15) dollars (from $40 to $55) , passing the price of the electronic searches to the motorist on May 9, 2011.

The Province of Alberta sets the level of fines for offences such as photo radar (speeding) and red light violations.  It is the Municipalities that are responsible for setting the fines for illegal parking in accordance with the Municipal Government Act.

Several other cities followed Calgary’s lead in this regard, by raising their parking fines, in anticipation of the additional cost associated with the new fee announced by Service Ontario.

The City began ticketing motorists at the higher fine, after the City council increase the parking fine.

On June 1, 2011 after the Province had received numerous complaints of the new fee by municipalities and policing forces, Service Alberta announced that they had made the decision to defer the new service fee until September 1, 2011.

Parking Ticket in Calgary

In the meantime, the City of Calgary had ticketed a huge number of motorists at the new fine of $55, versus the old fine of $40.

Since May 9, 2011 the City of Calgary has issued approximately ten thousand (10,000.00) tickets and has raised more than $150,000.00 as a result of the additional fifteen ($15.00) dollar fee.

On Monday, June 13, 2011 the City of Calgary’s city council, temporarily repealed the current by-law (increasing the parking fine from $40 to $55) in place.  It will be re-instituted in the fall, when Service Alberta will begin charging the fee in September, 2011.

The City of Calgary will reimburse all motorists who have received and paid for the parking tickets issued. It is expected that the City will return about $150,000.00 to those who received the $55.00 parking ticket.

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