If you are caught carrying a radar detector in your vehicle in Ontario, police can confiscate your radar detector and you’ll receive a ticket, which carries a stiff fine ($175) and three (3) demerit points.
Here are traffic offences in Ontario which carry three (3) demerit points as a penalty:
Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/h
Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
Driving while holding or using a hand-held wireless communications/entertainment device or viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task
Failing to yield the right-of-way
Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal
Failing to obey traffic control stop sign
Failing to obey traffic control slow sign
Failing to obey school crossing stop sign
Failing to obey the directions of a police officer
Driving the wrong way on a divided road
Failing to report a collision to a police officer
Improper driving where road is divided into lanes
Crowding the driver’s seat
Going the wrong way on a one-way road
Driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road
Crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
Failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle
Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
Failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle
Driving a vehicle that is equipped with or carrying a speed measuring warning device (such as a radar detector)
Improper use of a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane
“speed measuring warning device” means any device or equipment designed or intended for use in a motor vehicle to warn the driver of the presence of speed measuring equipment in the vicinity and includes any device or equipment designed or intended for use in a motor vehicle to interfere with the effective operation of speed measuring equipment. 1996, c. 33, s. 12.
Speed measuring warning device prohibited
(2)No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle that is equipped with or that carries or contains a speed measuring warning device. 1996, c. 33, s. 12.
Powers of police officer
(3) A police officer may at any time, without a warrant, stop, enter and search a motor vehicle that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe is equipped with or carries or contains a speed measuring warning device contrary to subsection (2) and may seize and take away any speed measuring warning device found in or upon the motor vehicle. 1996, c. 33, s. 12.
Forfeiture of device
(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, any device seized under subsection (3) by means of which the offence was committed is forfeited to the Crown. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 79 (4).
(5) Every person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 79 (5).
(6) Subsection (2) does not apply to a person who is transporting speed measuring warning devices in sealed packages in a motor vehicle from a manufacturer to a consignee. 1996, c. 33, s. 12.
Sale of speed measuring warning devices prohibited
(7) No person shall sell, offer or advertise for sale a speed measuring warning device by retail. 1996, c. 33, s. 12.
(8) Every person who contravenes subsection (7) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000; and
(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $5,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 79 (8).
The agency says Lukacs not ‘large’ enough to advocate on behalf of obese customers
An airline customer advocate from Nova Scotia will appear at the Federal Court of Appeal Monday to convince three judges to make the Canadian Transportation Agency address a complaint he filed about Delta Airlines.
Lukacs says the fact he isn’t large or obese shouldn’t matter. He says there is a greater public concern to address and that the CTA has been letting this case drag on for two years.
“This whole question of how large I am, whether I’m large enough to complain is a red herring,” Lukacs told CBC News in an interview by phone.
“It’s completely irrelevant because what is being protected and what needs to be protected is the public at large, not me personally.”
Lukacs questions why the CTA is challenging his complaint in the first place.
“If, for example, a worker notices contaminated meat from a supermarket or a production line, that person certainly has the ability and should have the ability to be able to say ‘hey this is putting the public at risk,'” he said.
“If the hook in the complaint is interpreted in such a narrow way as the agency proposes, essentially it would also mean you could complain about contaminated meat only if you bought it and you got sick from it which really defeats the purpose of preventing damage for the public.”
Hardball tactics employed by former TPA president worked 20 years ago but likely wouldn’t play well in 2016, observers say.
The tongue lashing city councillors gave police last week over controversial paid duty was the latest sign of the Toronto Police Association’s waning influence at city hall.
Members of the executive committee took turns ripping into the fact thousands of highly trained — and paid — Toronto cops have an iron grip on lucrative off-duty assignments.
“I think many councillors are fed up with this,” Councillor James Pasternak told reporters. “The paid-duty officers are costing in the $30 million range, they’re using taxpayer-funded motorcycles and squad cars and horses and uniforms which we incur the cost of replacing while they’re moonlighting and it’s just not right.”
For TPA president Mike McCormack, such talk is the new normal.
He recently sent a don’t-stick-your-neck-out letter to union members that said political leaders care more about “special interests” than backing frontline officers.
There’s the province’s new “ambiguous” street-check regulation, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s “systemic racism” comment on the lawn at Queen’s Park and city council’s unanimous support of a police anti-racism motion.
Also looming is Mayor John Tory’s transformational policing task force. It is supposed to produce a blueprint for modernizing the delivery of police services while reining in costs, which could lead to closed police divisions, a hiring freeze, layoffs, or all of the above.
The TPA has little choice but to push back.
“We will strongly and aggressively oppose any recommendation that we feel has a negative impact on the safety of our members and the community,” McCormack stated in email.
But just how far is the TPA willing to go? Back to an era of intimidation and the politics of fear that cowed politicians into meeting their demands? It wasn’t all that long ago that a councillor who openly questioned or criticized the police was in for a bruising ride from the TPA.
Members of the union executive would make a beeline to city hall to warn the naysayer that “we’re going after you,” says Craig Bromell, TPA president from 1997 to 2003.
“When we showed up, believe me, the whole building knew we were there.” His nicknames ran the gamut from Bro to Bully in Black and other names not fit to print.
“We weren’t the most powerful police union, we were the most powerful union in the country. We were it.”
Bromell infamously led a wildcat strike at 51 Division, the “True Blue” campaign — the union sold stickers to identify motorists as police supporters. Bromell had no qualms about threatening an outbreak of “Blue Flu,” where officers would call in sick to protest an issue.
Former city councillor Brian Ashton, who sat on the civilian oversight police board from 1992 to 1996, remembers well when the police “were so powerful, the public would just side with them immediately.”
And so did the politicians.
On his website, Bromell boasts he negotiated “three contracts totaling 24 per cent in raises with dramatic improvements to pension and medical packages.”
Ashton recalls Bromell’s predecessor, Art Lymer, showing up at one of his campaign meetings and telling the crowd “how much the councillor doesn’t support policing.”
“That was the pressure they were prepared to put on board members and making the connection back to the politicians — the motherlode, the money, the real control, the real power,” says Ashton, now president of the Canadian National Exhibition Association.
While Bromell’s hardball tactics worked 20 years ago, he doubts they’d play well in 2016, Ashton says.
Today’s officers are better educated and come from different disciplines. “They will understand the changing role and culture of policing in Toronto so it’s going to be difficult for the police union to pressure politicians into compliance.”
McCormack is also, generally, more thoughtful and measured in his responses, and cares about his image, unlike Bromell. “The presidents of police unions tend to reflect the rank-and-file of the day,” Ashton says.
A city councillor, who asked not to be named, said the TPA “brand is damaged from the Bromell days.”
Bromell not only disagrees that his combative approach is passé, he’s urging Canadian police unions to become more aggressive, applauding the Montreal Police Union’s new billboard campaign to combat “negativity” about officers.
“The police union’s only job is to protect those who protect others, not the community, not the politicians. Their only function in life is to protect those coppers and their civilian members.”
He is currently putting the final touches on his soon to be released autobiography, Copfather, and penning a blog filled with incendiary, pro-police commentary.
But today’s kinder, gentler Toronto Police Association believes public opinion matters.
“Our fight against crime is not only played out in the court of law, but can also be won in the court of public opinion,” reads a TPA bulletin to its members filled with public opinion polling numbers.
“We’ve found the best way to shape public opinion is by improving our public and government relations initiatives and changing the narrative on policing.”
Famed author implores us to be vigilant, and to keep the faiths of decency, tolerance and humanity
“Big Brother is watching you” is George Orwell’s most famous line from his most famous book. But there’s so much more to the man who gave us terms like “doublethink,” “thoughtcrime” and “newspeak”; Orwell reminds us there’s a connection between clarity of language and truth.
That’s why he implores us to be vigilant, to be on guard for freedom, and to keep the faith: the triple faiths of decency, tolerance and humanity.
I’ve long been fascinated by Orwell and, in the summer of 1983, when it was still possible to meet people who knew him — from his first days to his final hours — I spent two hectic months in England, Scotland and Spain recording 75 interviews.
I made a total of 50 hours’ worth of recordings which, taken together, give a detailed and nuanced picture of a man who was one of the most influential writers of our time.
I included some — but by no means all — of this unique archive in George Orwell, a Radio Biography which aired on CBC Radio 1 on Jan. 1, 1984. Recently I went back into those original recordings, to bring out insights that had never been aired before, and created a new three-hour series for CBC Radio’s Ideas called The Orwell Tapes.
Orwell died in 1950. But here are five reasons why he is still very much with us today:
1. Big Brother is watching you
“Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed — no escape, ‘Big Brother is watching you.'” George Orwell, 1984
Orwell’s most famous novel, 1984, sounded many warnings about privacy and surveillance by the state.
Is he watching you now? And if so how would you know? And even if you did are you too much in love with modern technology to care? With sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go are we all complicit in allowing a new era of mass surveillance?
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange once asked an assembled group: “Who here has an iPhone, who has a BlackBerry, who uses Gmail?” Most of his audience raised their hands.
“Well, you’re all screwed,” was his terse answer.
Fugitive Edward Snowden concurs: “A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought,” he said, in a 2013 Christmas message posted on YouTube.
2. Power corrupts
“The creatures looked from pig to man, from man to pig … but it was impossible to say which was which.” George Orwell, Animal Farm
Does changing the people in power actually change anything? Orwell’s pen here was aimed at 1940’s Soviet Union, but the pattern repeats and its relevance never dates. Take Ukraine in 2014, or 2004 or 1991.
As Mark MacKinnon of The Globe and Mail wrote in March 2016, of the situation in Ukraine: “There’s a revolution. Hated oligarchs are overthrown. The people celebrate. Then a new batch of politicians takes power and spoils it all.”
3. Encountering the ‘other’
“I should like to put it on record that I have never been able to dislike Hitler,” George Orwell, reviewing Mein Kampf
It took courage for Orwell to write that in March 1940 with Hitler poised to invade Britain. Demonising your enemy, to Orwell, was easy, lazy and self-defeating. He believed understanding Hitler was the best way to defeat him.
“Hitler knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety … and in general, common sense; they also want … occasionally … struggle, self sacrifice, drums and loyalty parades,” Orwell wrote.
What is the appeal of today’s Hitlers? Do we demonize them too much and understand them too little?
George Orwell, centre, at the siege of Huesca during the Spanish Civil War, 1937.
4. Socialism has 9 lives
“Socialists don’t claim to be able to make the world perfect. They claim to be able to make it better.” George Orwell, in a December 1943 column for Tribune
After two world wars and the Great Depression, capitalism was discredited and socialism offered hope, a so-called different kind of politics.
Socialism flourished for a while but, in recent decades, it’s seemed a faded relic from another era, vilified and ridiculed by many. And then Bernie Sanders and U.K. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn came along and Orwell’s ideas and ideals are alive again, back on centre stage.
5. Don’t shoot the messenger
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” George Orwell, preface to Animal Farm
Speaking truth to power is as dangerous and difficult today as it ever was. In 2015 Amnesty International supporters across the world wrote 3.7 million letters, messages, emails and tweets in aid of prisoners of conscience — people jailed for telling someone in power what they didn’t want to hear or to be heard by others.
Steve Wadhams, right, and associate producer Edward Trapunski worked together on George Orwell: A Radio Biography. The series aired on Jan. 1, 1984. (CBC)
Almost 80 per cent of uniformed Toronto police officers are on the list of public servants making more than $100k. Other GTA forces come close.
An analysis of data by the Star has found a trend of skyrocketing police salaries across the GTA: almost 80 per cent of uniformed Toronto police officers made the 2015 Sunshine list, a 108 per cent increase over five years in the number of officers on the list.
York Region Police saw a 183 per cent increase in officers on the list, compared to 2010, with 70 per cent of its officers now making more than $100,000.
Some police board members across the GTA defend the increases and say the Sunshine list presents a skewed picture. It doesn’t factor in inflation, or the fact that many police forces only recently began reporting paid duty wages (earned during an officer’s time off) on the income column of the list, instead of the one for taxable benefits.
Others say the Sunshine list illustrates a rapid rise in police salaries across the GTA that can’t continue.
“Across the board, they’re not sustainable,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, chair of the York Regional Police Services Board. “What we have to do is keep the salary increases in line with inflation.”
York had 379 uniformed police officers on the 2010 public sector salary disclosure (Sunshine) list — 26.6 per cent of its uniformed staff. The 2015 list has 1,072 York officers on the list, 70 per cent of the 1,535 uniformed staff complement.
Pay increases in the GTA for uniformed officers, required to have only a high school education, have outpaced inflation by about 20 to 30 per cent over a decade. Base salary hikes are only a fraction of a controversial, little-known system of increases that can add as much as 17 per cent annually to the publicly revealed pay increases.
Scarpitti is one of many who told the Star the current system of arbitrated settlements for police contracts — using salary and benefit increases won in contract disputes by forces across Ontario as benchmarks — is not working.
“Police salaries have outpaced inflation and the increases received by other municipal sector employees for some time, and that has been a concern for our board and others across the province,” Roger Anderson, chair of the Durham Police Services Board, said in an email.
“Two out of the last three contracts have been settled through arbitration as the board could not support the increases being asked for by the (Durham Police) Association,” Anderson said, “and we are currently just starting the arbitration process again for this year’s agreement.”
Contracts in the GTA will provide first-class constables with base salaries that automatically put many on the Sunshine list.
The new chair of the Peel Police Services Board defends increases in the latest contract, which by 2019 will put all first-class constables over the $100,000 mark on entry-level base pay, plus top-ups that will give some a base wage as high as $117,491.
“The collective agreement negotiated last year between our board and the Peel Regional Police Association … featured increases that for the most part are below the anticipated levels of inflation,” said Amrik Ahluwalia.
Paul Black, president of the Peel Region Police Association, said in an email Monday that the message policing salaries are non-sustainable “is not borne out in the facts.”
Black said the 2014 Region of Peel financial report showed over the previous five years, “police expenditures grew at rates less than the majority of other government services.
“In negotiations last year, the Peel Regional Police Association worked with the Police Services Board to produce an agreement that satisfied financial pressures coming to bear on the board and included concessions that our members accepted in a five year collective agreement,” Black said. “Furthermore, over 90 per cent of all collective agreements in the policing sector are reached through negotiation.”
Black added that police compensation was addressed during current contract talks, and wage increases will be at or below forecast inflation rates between now and 2019. “The current agreement was reached after considerable concessions by our association going forward, which the Peel Police Services Board felt would produce “net zero” budget impacts.”
The Peel force saw a 95 per cent increase in the number of uniform officers who made the Sunshine list from 2010 to 2015: from 664 uniform officers out of a complement of 1,855 in 2010, to 1,297 officers out of a total of 1,951 in 2015.
In Toronto, recent police collective bargaining agreements have led to a decrease of 349 in the overall number of uniformed police officers between 2010 and 2015. Meanwhile, the number who made the Sunshine list more than doubled, from 2,063 to 4,282, in just five years.
Employment in the uniform ranks now almost guarantees membership in the $100,000-a-year club — 78.9 per cent of the force’s uniform officers made the Sunshine list in 2015. And by 2018, the base salary for a first-class constable will rise almost five per cent from the current rate to $98,450, with those who receive the maximum retention pay set to make $107,312.
Toronto’s latest contract will, by 2018, give a first-class constable without retention pay, overtime, paid duty income or other premiums an income just $1,550 less than the Sunshine list threshold. The 2018 base salary represents a 38 per cent increase from 2006, when the base salary was $71,522. Typically, it takes about three years to become a first class constable.
Police forces often mention the risky nature of the work when the issue of compensation is raised.
Crime data compiled by Statistics Canada shows crime rates and severity of crime have been on a sharp decline since the early ’90s. But police board members said it’s unclear whether rising police pay has contributed to that.
“What you’re starting to see is communities out there that recognize they value what emergency personnel do, they absolutely do,” Scarpitti said. “No one in their right mind would ever say they don’t do an important job. But, there is a limit to how much people will extend themselves, graciously, to pay for that, knowing that, one, some of them live in some of the safest communities in North America and two, that crime has been going down.”
HOW TO BUILD AN EXPENSIVE COP
Follow the base salary for a first class constable and watch premiums pile on:
Peel police officer pay
$71,400: Base salary for first class constable 2006
$100,420: Base salary for first class constable 2019
$109,458: Top pay for a first class constable as of 2019 factoring in the “3, 6, or 9” per cent increase paid annually
$117,491: Top pay for a first class constable as of 2019 including retention pay of a 9 per cent and an “investigative premium” of 2, 4 or 8 per cent, depending on the department
Total increase between 2006 and 2019:
41%: The pay increase established in Peel police’s new contract for the lowest base pay for a first class constable.
61%: The pay increase for a first class constable with 0-7 years of experience with no investigative premium, who moves into the 17- to 22-year category and receives an additional 8 per cent annual investigative premium and an additional 6 per cent in annual retention pay. This does not include overtime and off duty pay
When a municipality and police union reach a stalemate on contract issues an arbitrator can be brought in to break the deadlock by handing down a decision.
The arbitrator’s ruling is binding, and municipalities argue that is where their problems begin.
“It’s easy for an arbitrator to take out his pen and sign that decision. At the end of the day, when they look at our ability to pay what they mean is, ‘It’s okay, all you have to do is raise your taxes, and your taxpayers will pay it.’ That’s where they have us,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.
Across the GTA, the payroll costs of police forces account for about 90 per cent of police operating budgets.
And base salaries are only part of it. The reality, municipal officials say, is that police salaries are rocketing far beyond other public-sector incomes once you add in all the additional pay upgrades.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is working with other Ontario mayors to rein in runaway police salaries. She says she hopes “the Ontario government will take action to reform the arbitration system to create a more level playing field across the province.”
Retention pay was instituted to attract applicants and retain staff, but Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said keeping staff has never been a problem. “We have never, ever, ever had a shortage of people applying to our fire service or to the police. Ever.” He said because Toronto police got retention pay, York’s force wanted it and got it through arbitration. With retention pay, after about seven years officers get three per cent raises, six per cent after 16 years and nine per cent after about 23 years – on top of the negotiated annual increases.
Raise, repeat; raise, repeat
Over time, a constant cycle of raises has pushed salaries up and up, Mayor John Tory says.
“They have had a whole history of how compensation has been set over time, a lot of it by arbitration,” says Tory. “And we are where we are.”
But Ron Bain, executive director of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, says salaries are where they should be. “Most of them are following the inflation rate.”
Real police work only, please
Mayor John Tory said that if “expensive” police are going to be paid professional salaries, the board must “have them spend less time catching left turn offenders and directing traffic and more time doing real police work.”
Toronto’s top earning constable last year, Abdulhameed Virani, made $242,524. In 2008, when he was also near the top, the Star reported that much of that came from attending traffic court, under a contract stipulation allowing officers to earn 1.5 times their regular pay for attending court on their day off, with a minimum four hours’ pay even if they spent only 10 minutes there.
Having an officer defend a $50 ticket he or she handed out for a traffic offence could cost taxpayers about $300 in overtime pay.