P.E.I Defendant demands trial in French to fight 8 Parking Tickets

Update: See page “Right to Trial in French”

Prince Edward Island
Île-du-Prince-Édouard

On Thursday, December 3, 2009 a defendant went to the Provincial Courthouse in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I) to challenge eight (8) parking tickets.

Mr. Charles Duguay, the defendant, is French-speaking. Mr. Duguay has lived on Prince Edward Island for twenty two (22) years.

When Mr. Duguay arrived at the Provincial Court, he argued that he was entitled to a trial, wherein he could challenge the parking charges he was facing,  in French.

Apparently the Court was not in a position to accomodate Mr. Duguay, who began to speak French at the commencement of the hearing.  In response to Mr. Duguay’s use of the French language, the Chief Provincial Court Judge presiding, Justice John Douglas responded, saying “Je ne suis pas bilingue” (meaning “I am not bilingual.”).

Mr. Duguay then began to state his position in French, as to why he thought that his trial should be held in French.

This hearing was observed by lawyers from the Province and the City and they are concerned that this could be a precedent setting case and that there may be other people who would demand that their cases be held in French.

The Province of Prince Edward Island is concerned about the financial responsibility of importing an out-of-province bilingual (French & English) Judge to conduct trials in French in P.E.I.

The proceeding was put over until 2010 to provide the courts with the opportunity to produce a transcript of the hearing (to be provided to the Province and the City) and to have the transcript translated. Once this is done, the City and the Province will have an opportunity to state their position in response to Mr. Duguay’s arguments in the new year.

Jacques Cartier discovered the island in 1534. As part of the French colony of Acadia, the island was called “Île Saint-Jean”. Roughly one thousand Acadians lived on the island. However, many fled to the island from mainland Nova Scotia during the British-ordered expulsion in 1755. Many more were forcibly deported in 1758 when British soldiers– under the command of Colonel Andrew Rollo — were ordered by General Jeffery Amherst to capture the island, according to Wikipedia.

According to the 2006 Census, conducted by Statistics Canada (who are scheduled to conduct the next Census in 2011) out of P.E.I’s population of 134,205 people, 97.1% (130,270 people) of the population spoke English, well 2.1% (2,755 people) spoke French. View Prince Edward Island.

Nine years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a case from P.E.I (Arsenault-Cameron v. Prince Edward Island, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 3) in which section 23 (Minority Language Educational Rights) of the Charter was involved. The Supreme Court ruled that Francophone students in Summerside, P.E.I had a Constitutional right to an education in French, despite the Province’s refusal to build a French school.

See story


Stolen Vehicles Assisted by Improved Technology

Update:

Motor vehicle owners can rest better, knowing that their newly acquired vehicles are built with the capacity to have technology installed, which is designed to actively thwart theft and to recover the vehicle quickly, if it is stolen.

Technology has come a long way.  Many consumers who have not purchased a vehicle within the last decade,  have probably become aware of some the industry’s technological advancements when they have watched on television, police chasing a joy riding thief and the vehicle has been involuntarily slowed down and  remotely disabled.

Here are two (2)  lists that represent 2008’s most stolen and least stolen, motor vehicles:

The Top Ten Stolen Vehicles are:
1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
3. 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX/WRX STi 4-door AWD
4. 1995 Dodge/Plymouth Grand Caravan/Voyager
5. 1995 Dodge/Plymouth Caravan/Voyager
6. 2002 Acura RSX Type S 2-door
7. 2001 Audi TT Quattro Roadster
8. 1995 Acura Integra 2-door
9. 1996 Dodge/Plymouth Neon 2-door
10. 1996 Dodge/Plymouth Neon 4-door

The Least Stolen Vehicles are:
1. (tie 1st) 2003 Cadillac Deville 4-door
2. (tie 1st) 2002 Lincoln Continental 4-door
3. (tie 1st) 2001 Lincoln Town Car 4-door
4. 2007 Chevrolet Impala 4-door
5. (tie 3rd) 2001 Toyota Avalon 4-door
6. (tie 3rd) 1999 Toyota Tacoma 2WD
7. (tie 4th) 2005 Buick Terraza EXT
8. (tie 4th) 2003 Buick Regal 4-door
9. (tie 4th) 2002 Toyota Highlander 4-door 2WD
10. (tie 4th) 2000 Ford/Mercury Taurus/Sable Wagon

Those car thieves that actively work in the underground market, make it a point of keeping abreast of the latest technological theft deterrant devices, invented to make vehicle theft more difficult and a less desirable means of generating income. Car thieves are cognizant of the most recent innovations and this is why most of the motor vehicles stolen are older vehicles, which are less likely to contain theft deterrant devices.

In September 2007, Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards began to require that all new light-duty, non-emergency vehicles (cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs) be equipped with an electronic immobilization system that meets either the National Standard of Canada ULC-S338/98 or the European Standard UNECE/97.

Boomerang Tracking (a Canadian innovation) has  become a technological leader in tracking stolen assets. Motor vehicles are equipped with Boomerang`s little black box transmitter.  Unlike GPS and GPS-cellular combined systems, Boomerang is capable of successfully tracking stolen vehicles  located in underground parking lots and shipping containers, by relying on cellphone towers to triangulate the location of the stolen vehicle. Since 1999, Boomerang Tracking has recovered thousands of vehicles, representing hundreds of millions of dollars. The basic system costs $549.00 and a $200.00 annual monitoring fee.

General Motors OnStar provides a number of services to motor vehicle operators and owners. OnStar utilizes GPS satellite & cellular technology to connect the vehicle and driver to its`services.  One of the services offered is Stolen Vehicle Slowdown.
The Stolen Vehicle Slowdown uses the invehicle GPS locator to allow OnStar, in conjunction with the police, to safely slow down the vehicle to a safe speed by remote control. Another service offered by OnStar is Remote Ignition Block, which disables the stolen motor vehicle`s ignition from working, once the engine has been turned off (vehicle is being refuelled or has been parked). These services can be purchased, through a package (with other services included), at an annual fee of $289.00.

Source: Wheels: New Technology

Halton Police Fool Public by using Police Radar Cars Masquerading as Taxi’s.

Police Vehicle Masquerading as TaxiUpdate:

***THIS IS NOT A TAXI – IT IS A POLICE RADAR/CHASE VEHICLE***

Fightyourtickets received an email from a concerned citizen accompanied by the photo shown above. The vehicle shown in the picture, has no markings whatsoever, indicating that it is a police vehicle. On the contrary, the vehicle without any markings has a roof sign, resembling that of a taxi roof sign (not a police roof light bar). Upon closer examination of the roof sign, in small print, it reads “police” and the phone number (878-5511) is the phone number of the Halton Regional Police.

Apparently, the Halton Regional Police are using Radar Vehicles that are disguised as Taxi’s.  It has been discovered that these vehicles are being utilized in geographical area serviced by the Halton Regional Police.

The geographical area of the Regional Municipality of Halton, encompasses the City of Burlington and the Towns of Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills, approximately 30 kilometers west of Toronto. This Region has a population of 427,500, and covers 958 square kilometers including a 25-km frontage onto Lake Ontario.

It is interesting to note that the Halton Regional Police has a web page called “Traffic Offences“. This page bears a photo(top right-hand corner)  in which a Halton Police Cruiser with a full roof light bar flashing;  has apparently pulled a vehicle over and it shows an officer at the driver’s side window (window rolled down) of the pulled over vehicle. No where in the photo does a unmarked vehicle, resembling a taxi (without roof light bars), appear with a police officer operating a radar unit.

The next time you are driving in or near the geographically area of the Regional Municipality of Halton, and you see what appears to be a taxi, in your rear view mirror, beware it may be the police following you and clocking your speed.

If you’re flagging down, what you believe is a taxi, and your standing on the road, be careful. If you are standing on the road and an undercover police car (disguised as a taxi) pulls over, you may find yourself being ticketed for violating section 177(1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). You must be off the road (preferably on a sidewalk) when you are hitchhiking, or you may face charges under section 177(1) of the HTA by Halton Police.

In their post “Traffic Offences” the Halton Police readily admit that “warnings” are only ever given to a motorist for a traffic offence in “exceptional circumstances” (translation – you won’t be issued a “warning”, only a traffic ticket) and that having the speed reduced by police when they are issuing a “speeding ticket” is “rarely done” (translation – if you are travelling 25 kilometres in excess of the speed limit, then you’ll be issued a ticket for travelling 25 kilo’s. over the speed limit).

It is surprising that the Police would resort to these sneaky tactics and disguises to simply enforce the rules of the road; given their lobbying to have an additional lighting colour (blue) on the roof light bars on their vehicles through Bill 203:

Bill 203, Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act, 2007

18. The definition of “emergency vehicle” in subsection 144 (1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

“emergency vehicle” means,

(a) a vehicle while used by a person in the lawful performance of his or her duties as a police officer, on which a siren is continuously sounding and from which intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light are visible in all directions, or

(b) any of the following vehicles, on which a siren is continuously sounding and from which intermittent flashes of red light are visible in all directions.

See how the amendment changes sections 144(1)(a) and 159(1),(2) & (3) of the Highway Traffic Act.

Home Insurance Skyrockets in Ontario

Update: see prior post.

Ontarions have already suffered at the hands of Private Insurance Companies who jacked up Auto Insurance up to rates of 19%, with the tacid approval and nod of the Ontario Liberal government. Now, to add insult to injury, home owners have found that Private Insurance Companies in Ontario have jacked up Home Insurance rates an average of 13.1 % the year ending in September, 2009 according to Statistics Canada.

What the Private Insurance Companies jacking up Ontarions Home Insurance rates won’t tell them, is that this 13.1 % increase is double the National average. Double!

It is completely understandable that the Private Insurance Companies operating out of Ontario want to make up for all of their losses in the market that they experienced last year and this year.  They want to recoup their losses on the backs of the consumers.  What is not acceptable, is that they decide to pick the pockets of all Ontarions (who also experienced huge losses last year and this year) who happen to have home insurance and auto insurance.  The Private Insurance Companies are becoming greedier and greedier and exploiting their clients in the process.

Karen Ritchie, vice-president of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP in Toronto, says some clients in certain postal codes have seen 40 per cent increases.

The Ontario Liberals support insurance companies and the increases that Ontarions are being subjected to. They will take no action whatsoever to limit the huge increases in Auto Insurance or Home Insurance rates that Ontarions are being subjected to, against their will.

In 2006 Statistics Canada reported, under Many Home Costs are Rising “And though falling interest rates have reduced mortgage interest costs by one-tenth since 1992, homeowners have seen insurance costs rise by 76%.…”

See Toronto Star report.

B.C. Home Inspector Ordered to Pay Homeowners $192,920.45

Update:

The Honourable Mr. Justice Burnyeat of the SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA rendered a decision today, ordering defendant, British Columbia home inspector Mr. Imre Toth and 659279 B.C. Ltd. doing business as HomePro Inspections to pay plaintiff, homeowners Manuel Ignacio Salgado and Nora Gabriela Calcaneo $192,920.24.

This Supreme Court of British Columbia decision, sets a precedent and has home inspectors and the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors of B.C. (“CAHPI (BC)”) quite concerned about the risks of liability after conducting a home inspection.

The plaintiffs, Manuel Ignacio Salgado and Nora Gabriela Calcaneo, contacted a real estate agent. Their agent introduced the property in question to them and also acted as their agent with regard to the purchase of the same property in North Vancouver.

This is the North Vancouver Home/property sold for almost $1.1 million in September, 2006, three (3) years ago; that Mr. Toth, a home inspector, must pay $192,920.45 due to his breaches of duty of care and negligence in the same year.

The former owners listed the Property for sale during the summer of 2006 at a listing price of $1,195,000.00. By a September 15, 2006 contract of purchase and sale (“Agreement”), the Plaintiffs agreed to pay $1,095,000.00 for the Property with the purchase to complete on October 27, 2006. The Agreement was “subject to an inspection report and bank approval to the Buyers’ satisfaction on or before 5 week days after acceptance”.

At the recommendation of their real estate agent, Mr. Toth as HomePro Inspections, was contacted and secured to conduct a home inspection of the property/home worth almost $1.1 million dollars and subsequently prepare a home inspection report. Mr. Toth inspected the Property and House on September 21, 2006. Mr. Toth, completed his inspection of the roof and the rest of the exterior of the house in about 30 minutes.

After the inspection, Mr. Toth provided both a written and a verbal report to the buyers, Manuel Ignacio Salgado and Nora Gabriela Calcaneo and received $450.50 for these services.

By agreement, the plantiffs and defendants accept that the cost of remedial work to remedy certain problems with the House totals $192,920.45, made up as follows: (a) “A” Frame Beams – west side of the House ($35,000.00); (b) “A” Frame Beams – east side of the House ($18,800.00); (c) Stabilization of House ($56,800.00); (d) Engineering ($26,269.00, comprised of costs incurred to date of $16,269.00, and estimated future costs of $10,000.00); (e) West side deck removal ($9,360.00); (f) replacement of the west deck ($24,100.00); and (g) a shoring up of the east deck ($11,500.00).

With G.S.T. of $9,091.45, and a contingency of $22,000.00, the total cost of the required remedial work is $212,920.45. From that amount, the Plaintiffs subtract the $20,000.00 that Mr. Toth estimated the remedial work would cost and claim $192,920.45, as well as pre-judgment interest and Scale “B” costs.

Here are some of Justice Burnyeat’s findings:

Regarding the costs of repairing the two rotten west side beams, I accept the evidence of the Plaintiffs that they were provided with a repair estimate in the neighbourhood of $4,000.00 by Mr. Toth. By agreement between the parties, the actual cost of replacing the west side beams is $35,000.00.

I find that Mr. Toth was negligent in his inspection of the horizontal and vertical beams on both sides of the House. Mr. Toth was negligent in not inspecting the east side beams, and was negligent in his inspection of the west side beams by either inspecting only two and not advising the Plaintiffs that he had only done so or by not drawing to their attention that the rot was much more widespread than he indicated to them. His breaches of duty of care caused the Plaintiffs to suffer damages. But for the negligent act and/or the omission, the damages would not have occurred as the purchase of the Property would not have occurred. I find that the Plaintiffs would not have purchased the Property if the full extent of the rot on the east and west side beams of the House had been known and brought to their attention. In the circumstances, the Plaintiffs are entitled to damages of $35,000.00 plus $18,800.00 less the $4,000.00 estimate provided by Mr. Toth.

I accept the evidence presented on behalf of the Plaintiffs that Mr. Toth gave them a repair estimate of $15,000.00 for structural work relating to the stability of the House. That estimate was woefully inadequate. While I find that damages are not available to the Plaintiffs as a result of this negligent misrepresentation of the likely cost of the structural changes that were required in order to provide stability for the House because I cannot come to the conclusion that the Plaintiffs relied on this misrepresentation to their detriment, I find that the estimate that was provided gave considerable solace to the Plaintiffs that the structural expenditures would not be excessive and, therefore, the structural problems were not significant. I find that the Plaintiffs are entitled to the actual cost of the structural changes which are required, including engineering costs, being $56,800.00, $26,269.00, $9,360.00, $24,100.00 and $11,500.00, less the $15,000.00 estimate provided by Mr. Toth.

Under the Contract, the “Inspector” is defined as being “659279 B.C. Ltd. dba HomePro Inspections”. Accordingly, I am satisfied that the attempt to limit liability by paragraph 13 of the Contract relates only to the “Inspector” and not to Mr. Toth personally. It was Mr. Toth who was the inspector. It is Mr. Toth who is the member of the CAHPI (B.C.). In this regard, the cover page indicates “This report prepared by: Imre Toth, B.Arch., RHI, Member of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (B.C.).” I am satisfied that the ambiguity regarding whether the provisions of paragraph 13 of the Contract were also to apply to any failure by Mr. Toth to perform any obligations should be resolved against Mr. Toth in favour of a reasonable and fair interpretation.

I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the Plaintiffs relied upon the report received by Mr. Toth to decide whether they would purchase the Property.

The Plaintiffs will be entitled to Judgment against the Defendants in the amount of $192,920.45. As the parties advise that the provisions of Rule 37(b) of the Rules of Court apply, the parties will be at liberty to speak to the question of costs in due course.