City of Toronto Withdraws Parking Tickets Awaiting Trial for More Than a Year

Update: see previous posts – July 30, 2015 Ontario’s Planning On Moving Ticket-Fighting System Online, April 9, 2015 British Columbia Invents New System for Traffic Tickets, September 20, 2104 Vancouver: Revenue is Way Down Using Administrative Penalty System (APS) for Parking Tickets, March 3, 2015 Ontario Exploring Ways to Challenge Tickets Online, Outside of the Courts

Those who decided to fight their parking tickets must be congratulated, as they now benefit from that exercise. The City of Toronto sent a lawyer to court on Friday, with the instructions to withdraw 880,000 parking tickets, that the City had no reasonable prospect of winning, given that too much time had expired without a trial. This is where the Charter kicks in, specifically section 11(b), where the law says that a trial must take place within a reasonable time; in Toronto that is within about 14 months after having received the ticket.
Those who decided to fight their parking tickets must be congratulated, as they now benefit from that exercise. The City of Toronto sent a lawyer to court on Friday, with the instructions to withdraw 880,000 parking tickets, that the City had no reasonable prospect of winning, given that too much time had expired without a trial. This is where the Charter kicks in, specifically section 11(b), where the law says that a trial must take place within a reasonable time; in Toronto that is within about 14 months after having received the ticket. Most of these tickets withdrawn were for expired meter parking offences tickets.

see source

This website is designed to assist people to fight their tickets. The first step is to challenge the ticket by requesting a trial date. If, after having requesting a trial, you do not receive a confirmation of a court date within 14 months, you have an opportunity to request that your charge(s) be stayed by the courts as a result of a Charter challenge under section 11(b) of the Charter.

The Habitual Offender Program, implemented in 2014, is an initiative to assist with parking fine collection. It is premised on a model whereby towing of vehicles occurs in cases where the owner has three (3) or more outstanding fines, and those fines remain unpaid for at least 120 days following the latest due date. This initiative is projected to generate an additional $2.500 million in Parking Tag Revenue in 2015. In 2010, tow truck operators in Ontario had a 19.7 per cent collision rate, compared to only 1.1 per cent for drivers of other commercial vehicles.
The Habitual Offender Program, implemented in 2014, is an initiative to assist with parking fine collection. It is premised on a model whereby towing of vehicles occurs in cases where the owner has three (3) or more outstanding fines, and those fines remain unpaid for at least 120 days following the latest due date. This initiative is projected to generate an additional $2.500 million in Parking Tag Revenue in 2015.
Is it any wonder why motorists dread bring towed; in 2010, tow truck operators in Ontario had a 19.7 per cent collision rate, compared to only 1.1 per cent for drivers of other commercial vehicles.

On Friday, September 4, 2015 the City of Toronto sent a lawyer to court with instructions to withdraw approximately 880,000 parking tickets for which a trial request had been submitted and where no trial had yet been scheduled. This also included cases where a retrial had been ordered, but where a trial had yet to be scheduled.

The City of Toronto reported that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter“) ensures the right to a trial within a reasonable amount of time, historically 12 to 16 months for parking tickets.  Withdrawing the tickets is an administrative measure that ensures compliance with the Charter and avoids pursuing tickets that have exceeded the time frame and have no reasonable prospect of conviction.

Toronto parking enforcement officer places parking ticket on car. The City issues so many parking tickets that they cannot keep up with the number of motorists who wish to challenge their parking tickets with a trial in court. They are not prepared to bring back night court which many choose to argue their tickets in court. As of July 3, 2008 the option to have a trial at Night Court was discontinued by the City of Toronto.
Toronto parking enforcement officer places parking ticket on car. The City issues so many parking tickets that they cannot keep up with the number of motorists who wish to challenge their parking tickets with a trial in court. They are not prepared to bring back night court which many choose to argue their tickets in court. As of July 3, 2008 the option to have a trial at Night Court was discontinued by the City of Toronto.

Most of the parking tickets issued in Toronto, in 2013 and 2014 were for the following bylaw offences:

Expired Meter Offences – “Park at Expired Meter, Fail to deposit fee/display receipt” with a set fine amount of $30.00:

In 2013 – 571,844 tickets issued or 21.7 % of all parking tickets issued in 2013.
In 2014 – 484,526 tickets issued or 19.4 % of all parking tickets issued in 2014.

In 2014 the following number of parking tickets were issued: 2,498,660
Most of the tickets issued, took place between March and June. The breakdown of the number of tickets issued during those months is as follows: March = 226,111, April = 220,477, May = 225,653 and June = 223,267.

The total number of parking tickets cancelled in 2014 (529,954 tickets) was 48,296
fewer tickets cancelled than the number of tickets cancelled in 2013 (578,250). In addition, the percentage of tickets cancelled in 2014 (21.2%) is also slightly lower than 2013 (22.0%).
The largest decreases are in two areas:
a) tickets cancelled in court by the Judiciary or Courts (Crown/Justice of the Peace);
b) tickets cancelled by Parking Ticket staff under Council – approved Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines.
The City of Toronto prioritizes the scheduling of trials in its courtrooms to accommodate more serious charges first. The 2015 Toronto Recommended Operating Budget provides an additional $2.078 million for an additional two (2) courtrooms dedicated to the judicial processing of parking ticket disputes. The high volume of parking ticket trial requests made between 2002 and 2014 greatly exceeded courtroom capacity and availability of justices of the peace to hear the cases.
The City of Toronto has justified the withdrawal of almost 880,000 parking tickets based on the potential revenue from convictions at court, versus the cost of prosecuting these tickets in the courts. The withdrawn parking tickets represent an estimated $20 million is potential revenue for the City, versus the cost of $23 million cost of hearing the cases in court.
The City of Toronto wants to deny people the opportunity to have their case heard in court. Instead, they want to direct any parking ticket challenge to a hearing officer for an administrative hearing.
The City of Toronto wants to deny people the opportunity to have their case heard in court. Instead, they want to direct any parking ticket challenge to a hearing officer for an administrative hearing, resulting in a final decision.

There is another reason for this unprecented decision.

If a report is presented to City council, indicating a $20 million loss, the natural questions would be why and how can we avoid such a huge loss in the future.

It is expected that later this year or early next year, the Province of Ontario will follow the Province of British Columbia by introducing legislation that will allow Ontario cities, including Toronto, to move parking ticket challenges out of the provincial court system and into an administrative monetary penalty system, where motorists would dispute parking ticket offences online. Since September, 2011 the City of Toronto has allowed motorists to voluntarily dispute their parking tickets online, soon the only way that motorists will be able to dispute their tickets is online, which will be mandatory, with no option to go to court.

The short answer is to introduce a different type of system, where the courts would be taken out of the equation, when motorists want to challenge a parking ticket that they received,  The City is looking at removing parking bylaw disputes out of the court system and moving them into an administrative review process, using an administrative monetary penalty system. It would include a process to appeal an administrative decision to a hearing officer for a final decision.

A report to Council outlining the new opportunities is expected later this year

It would include a process to appeal an administrative decision to a hearing officer for a final decision. A report to Council outlining the new opportunities is expected later this year.

Parking enforcement officer looking for vehicles where the motorist has not Most of the parking tickets issued by the City of Toronto in both 2013 & 2014 were
Parking enforcement officer looking for vehicles to ticket at a City “P” parking location. Most of the parking tickets issued by the City of Toronto in both 2013 & 2014 were for expired meter offences – a $30 fine.

The City and the Province of Ontario have taken steps to reduce the likelihood of recurrence, including providing additional court room space and justices of the peace, updating cancellation guidelines, adopting a fixed fine system, implementing higher rush hour parking fines and establishing a habitual offender towing program.

Unfortunately, not everyone is treated the same by the City.  A single motorist will not be given the same opportunities as large corporations who receive parking tickets regularily on a daily basis.

Companies that rack up large numbers of parking tickets can see some of their fines tossed out through a little-known settlement process called “global resolution.”

The process requires companies with fleet vehicles and a “significant” number of parking tickets to pay all fines incurred on rush hour routes, in fire routes and in disabled parking spaces, according to city spokesperson Wynna Brown.

The remaining tickets, Brown said in an email, are for no stopping, no standing and no parking. City prosecutors and company representatives work to reach agreements that see some of these remaining tickets tossed out and others paid in full.

Drivers and vehicle owners can check if their parking tickets were withdrawn by entering the parking infraction number, the vehicle owner’s driver’s licence number or a Registrant Identification Number (RIN) into the City’s parking ticket lookup tool at toronto.ca/parkingtickets. If a searched ticket was withdrawn, the recipient will see “Cancelled, Withdrawn, Complete” in the status box. This means the ticket does not need to be paid.

Iqaluit: Residents Concerned about Pedestrian Safety after Traffic Influx

Update: see previous posts – August 15/15 Iqaluit: Iqaluit Teen Struck by Vehicle, July 31/15 Iqaluit: Road Safety Concerns Raised in Iqaluit after 4-Year-Old Boy Killed, July 21/15 Iqaluit: No Charges Laid in Iqaluit Crash that Sent 2 Young Girls to Hospital

Pedestrians crossing the busy four-corners intersection in downtown Iqaluit. Photo by CBC
Pedestrians crossing the busy four-corners intersection in downtown Iqaluit. (CBC)

‘We need to come up with a solution before a child gets hit,’ says resident Steven Lonsdale

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A traffic influx in Iqaluit has some residents sounding off about pedestrian safety again.

With the start of the school season, there are more cars on the road and many people say they’re seeing drivers rolling through stop signs, or just plain ignoring them.

“I’ve observed it throughout the day, it could be 10 in the morning or it could be 10 at night,” says Iqaluit resident Steven Lonsdale, who lives near the four-way stop in the Plateau.

“I don’t want to fear for my child’s life every time I send them out the door.”

Lonsdale shared his concerns on Facebook, and residents from other parts of town quickly chimed in with stories of close-calls.

“It happens at the Apex four-way, as well as the tundra subdivision and other parts of town,” Lonsdale says.

“There are places in the city that I feel are unsafe,” says resident Allen Auksaq.

Allen Auksaq Iqaluit resident

Iqaluit resident Allen Auksaq says there are places in the city that he feels are unsafe. (CBC)

“One place is near the boarding home, because there are medical patients from other communities trying to cross to the hospital, and people don’t stop.”

Another resident, Andrew Cameron, says pedestrians also need to start paying attention.

“Honestly, people also walk out wherever they want without looking.”

The city says citizens should write down license plate numbers and report violators to municipal enforcement.

“We will investigate the incident and the witness will have to testify in court,” says Kevin Sloboda, Chief Enforcement Officer.

“People don’t have manners in this city, they just don’t care. A few years ago there was a child who got run over, and that could happen again,” says Israel Mablick, another resident.

‘We need to come up with a solution before a child gets hit’

This isn’t the first time residents have raised concerns about street safety in Iqaluit. In 2013, a 4-year-old boy died after he was hit by a truck at the four corners near Arctic Ventures Marketplace. One year later two girls were hit on the same stretch of road. The incidents lead to calls for better-marked crosswalks in the city.

RCMP spokesperson Yvonne Niego says motorists need to be more cautious, especially when they’re driving in areas with children.

“The bus stops are unmarked and sometimes it can be very difficult to see the children behind the posts and while they’re playing,” Niego says.

Lonsdale says it’s only a matter of time before there’s another tragedy.

“We need to come up with a solution before a child gets hit.”

Newfoundland: 2 Separate Moose-Vehicle Collisions in Western Newfoundland

Update: see previous posts – July 19/15 Moose Collision Results in Dead Moose/Wrecked Vehicle, April 4/14 Newfoundland: Class-Action Lawsuit Over Moose Crashes begins in Newfoundland, October 11/11 66 Year Old Man Dies after His Vehicle Hit a Moose in Newfoundland

Two vehicles were significantly damaged in separate moose collisions in western Newfoundland Friday morning.
Two vehicles were significantly damaged in separate moose collisions in western Newfoundland Friday morning. Amazingly, there are anywhere between 600-800 moose-vehicle collisions on the island of Newfoundland every year. It was July 19, 1904 when four (4) moose were imported, for the first time (there was an unsuccessful attempt in 1878) , to the island of Newfoundland from the Miramichi area of New Brunswick. The original plan was to transport seven (7) moose, but three (3) died while waiting to be be transferred to Port Aux Basques. It was determined in 2012 that there were 115,000 moose in Newfoundland. Generally, when colliding with a moose at high speed, the vehicle’s bumper and front grille will break the moose’s legs, causing the moose to fall up onto the vehicle’s hood and delivering the bulk of the moose’s weight onto the widnshield, crushing the front roof support beams and anyone in the front seats.

see source

For mustang moose collision near Corner Brook

A Ford Mustang collided with a moose, and the Mustang lost. The collision took place on the TCH near Corner Brook on Friday. (Submitted by Don Johnson)

Two vehicles were significantly damaged in separate moose collisions in western Newfoundland Friday morning.

In the first incident, a pickup truck hit a moose on the access road between the Trans-Canada Highway and Stephenville Crossing. Police said the driver wasn’t injured.

Several hours later, a Ford Mustang collided with a moose a few kilometres west of Corner Brook.

At least one person is reported to have been injured in that crash

Court of Appeal for Ontario Upholds Speed Limiters (Governors) at 105 km/h for Trucks

Update:

An Ontario court judge ruled this week that the province's legislation limiting the speed of transport trucks doesn't violate human rights.
The Court of Appeal Ontario ruled (see R. v. Michaud, 2015 ONCA 585) this week (after hearing the case on March 10, 2015) that the province’s legislation limiting the speed of transport trucks doesn’t section 7 Charter rights.

see source

Gene Michaud argued being forced to keep a speed limiter on his truck violated his charter rights

In a landmark case for Ontario’s highways, the provincial court of appeal has upheld provincial legislation that prevents big rigs from going faster than 105 kilometres per hour.

Justice Peter Lauwers ruled on Monday in the case of St. Catharines trucker Gene Michaud. Michaud argued that the law dictating that he keep a speed limiter at 105 on his truck was unsafe and violated his charter rights. The Justice called it a test case for the industry.

Michaud successfully argued his case in 2012, but the province appealed and the decision was overturned in 2014. It made its way to the court of appeal and Monday, Lauwers sided with the legislation.

Justice Peter Lauwers ruled on Monday, August 31, 2015 in the case of St. Catharines trucker Gene Michaud. Michaud argued that the law dictating that he keep a speed limiter at 105 on his truck was unsafe and violated his charter rights. The Justice called it a test case for the industry.
Justice Peter Lauwers ruled on Monday, August 31, 2015 in the case of St. Catharines trucker Gene Michaud. Michaud argued that the law dictating that he keep a speed limiter at 105 on his truck was unsafe and violated his charter rights. The Justice called it a test case for the industry.

Michaud, backed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), wanted the speed limiter legislation struck down. With Monday’s decision, the legislation stays, said David Crocker, the Toronto-based lawyer who argued for the OOIDA.

The case attracted widespread attention from truckers, many of whom who think speed limiters are a safety hazard, Crocker said.

“Gene Michaud was a figurehead,” he said. “He represented the broadly held view that being limited, the way the speed limiter legislation in Ontario requires, creates a dangerous situation for truckers, and for those interacting on the highway with truckers.”

Michaud argued that the law dictating that he keep a speed limiter at 105 on his truck was unsafe and violated his charter rights. The Court of Appeal for Ontario disagreed on August 31, 2015.
Michaud argued that the law dictating that he keep a speed limiter at 105 on his truck was unsafe and violated his charter rights. Gene Michaud initially won his case in a Welland Court decision in 2012, when Justice of the Peace Brett Kelly agreed that the legislation infringed upon a driver’s right to security, under section 7 of the Charter and struck down section 68.1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act and section 14.1 of the equipment regulation, Regulation 587. The Court of Appeal for Ontario disagreed on August 31, 2015.

Michaud won a Welland court decision in 2012, when Justice of the Peace Brett Kelly ruled that the legislation infringed on a driver’s right to security.

But in his decision, Lauwers agreed that limiters reduce emissions and improve highway safety.

“The purposes of the speed limiter legislation for trucks, being the improvement of highway safety and the reduction of greenhouse gases, are pressing and substantial,” he wrote.

The case dates back to 2009, when Michaud pulled into a Vineland inspection station, just outside of Hamilton, Ont. The inspector found that his speed limiter was set at 109.4 kilometres per hour. Michaud said the higher speed gave him room to maneuver in case he needed it for safety reasons. Ministry of Transportation (MTO) officials ticketed him.

Michaud won a Welland court decision in 2012, when Justice of the Peace Brett Kelly ruled that the legislation infringed on a driver’s right to security. Michaud took the stand himself, citing several times the limiter had put him in danger. Highway safety expert Julie Cirillo and greenhouse gas expert Michael Lepage also testified. The province called Frank Saccomanno, an expert on truck speed limiters, who said mathematical models show that limiters reduce the frequency and severity of crashes.

The province successfully overturned that decision in a 2013 appeal to the Ontario court of justice. Michaud died in 2013, but his widow Barbara and the OOIDA appealed the case to the Ontario court of appeal.

In an email, MTO spokesperson Ajay Woozageer said the government is pleased with the latest decision.

“From 2003 to 2012, the number of fatalities in large truck collisions declined 35 per cent despite an increase of 20 percent in the number of large trucks registered in Ontario,” Woozageer said.

The OOIDA now has 60 days to appeal the case to the supreme court.

Gene Michaud, the late appellant, was a commercial truck driver. He was required by law to equip his truck with a functional speed limiter set to a maximum speed of 105 km/h. The speed limiter on Mr. Michaud’s truck was functional, but was set to 109.4 km/h. He was charged with contravening s. 68.1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 (HTA) and s. 14(1) of the equipment regulation, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 587 (the “legislation”), which together impose the speed limiter requirement. Mr. Michaud admitted the facts. The justice of the peace at first instance acquitted Mr. Michaud on the basis that the legislation infringed his right to security of the person and thereby violated s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982. When Mr. Michaud passed away before the first appeal, his wife, Barbara Michaud, was substituted as the party and the appeal proceeded. On appeal, the Ontario Court of Justice admitted fresh evidence, found no Charter violation, and set aside the trial decision. On Monday, August 31, 2015 the Court of Appeal for Ontario found against Barbara Michaud and upheld the decision 2013 Ontario Court of Justice decision, that heard the appeal from the Province. It is not clear yet whether Michaud, backed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. They have 60 days to make an application to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Gene Michaud, the late appellant, was a commercial truck driver. He was required by law to equip his truck with a functional speed limiter set to a maximum speed of 105 km/h. The speed limiter on Mr. Michaud’s truck was functional, but was set to 109.4 km/h. He was charged with contravening s. 68.1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 (HTA) and s. 14(1) of the equipment regulation, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 587 (the “legislation”), which together impose the speed limiter requirement. Mr. Michaud admitted the facts.
The justice of the peace at first instance acquitted Mr. Michaud on the basis that the legislation infringed his right to security of the person and thereby violated s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982. When Mr. Michaud passed away before the first appeal, his wife, Barbara Michaud, was substituted as the party and the appeal proceeded. On appeal, the Ontario Court of Justice admitted fresh evidence, found no Charter violation, and set aside the trial decision.
On Monday, August 31, 2015 the Court of Appeal for Ontario found against Barbara Michaud and upheld the decision 2013 Ontario Court of Justice decision, that heard the appeal from the Province.
It is not clear yet whether Michaud, backed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. They have 60 days to make an application to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

B.C.: Cyclist Who Slides Under Truck Lives to Tell the Tale

Update:

Ladislav Cumpelik and what remains of the shorts that helped save his life. (CBC)
Ladislav Cumpelik and what remains of the shorts that helped save his life. (CBC)

see source

There’s Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger and now there’s… Ladislav Cumpelik?

Cumpelik is the B.C. cyclist who against all odds survived when his morning commute went from Mission: Impossible to Die Hard.

A lot of stuff was going through my brain… ‘Is this my last journey?’ – Ladislav Cumpelik, cyclist

The 37-year-old Saanich man says he was riding to work on Thursday, coming down a steep hill along West Saanich Road, when a flatbed semi-trailer truck sailed right out in front of him.

Cumpelik desperately slammed on the brakes, but it was too late. He lost control of the bike, hit the road hard and was rapidly sliding between the truck’s wheels.

“My front tire went from underneath me, I started skidding on my back and behind, and I noticed…I didn’t have enough speed to go underneath the truck and through to the other side.”

All hope seemed lost.

‘I had a death grip on’

But what happened next was like a scene from an action movie.

“I grabbed on to his brake line and held on tight and started screaming.”

Sliding along the road, underneath a moving truck, Cumpelik was hanging on for dear life.

“A lot of stuff was going through my brain… ‘Is this my last journey?’ … And I was just screaming at the top of my lungs… I had a death grip on.”

Police say Cumpelik was dragged half a kilometre at an estimated 50 km/h before the truck stopped, after another motorist who witnessed the incident sped up alongside the trailer, honking and yelling.

Nothing short of a ‘miracle’

When emergency responders arrived, they found a man, battered, bruised and broken — but amazingly, alive. Saanich Police Const. Paul Cain described it as nothing short of a “miracle.”

“I’ve been doing this job for over 27 years and that was the first time I have ever seen anything like that,” said Cain.

Cumpelik is now recovering in hospital, having suffered some cuts, bruises, broken ribs, a broken shoulder and what he happily describes as “road rash.”

This isn’t the first time Cumpelik has had a lucky escape.

Last year, he says, he had another close call while out cycling. And when he was two years old, his mother says, he drowned, but was revived by his father.

“He’s our miracle baby… He’ll be bruised and he’ll remember this for a while, but I’m really glad he’s with us,” she said tearfully.

B.C.’s new action hero says he feels like Indiana Jones — but it isn’t something he’ll be doing again.

“It was a thrill ride, I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for it. It was certainly an interesting journey,” said Cumpelik.

“But I don’t wish it on anybody.”

Ladislav Cumpelik and parents Markyta and Ferdinand Cumpelik

Ladislav Cumpelik with his (very relieved) parents Markyta and Ferdinand Cumpelik. (CBC)