Traffic Violators Owe Taxpayers $1,048,607,020.80 in Unpaid Traffic Fines

Update: see previous posts – 1 Billion Dollars in Unpaid Traffic Tickets (Ontario), “Alberta, Montreal, Nova Scotia & Ontario Collect on Unpaid Tickets”, Toronto wants to Rake in Millions from Motorists, Increased Fines & Penalties in New Year, City of Toronto to Raise Parking Fees on January 1, 2010, Parking Tickets issued to non-residents of Ontario cannot be collected by the City of Toronto

A recent poll found that Canadians would give up sex, over cars. This poll has found that Canadians love their motor vehicles and their ability to drive those motor vehicles.

Dr. Alok Mukherjee was just recently elected on as the Ontario Association of Police Services Board’s President for 2010-2011. Dr. Mukherjee is also the Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board and his term of office for that appointment is scheduled to end on November 30, 2010.

According to the Ontario Association of Police Service Board, which represents the employers of police services, traffic violators owe taxpayers over a billion dollars ($1,048,607,020.80) in unpaid traffic fines.

The government last year gave municipalities the power to tack unpaid speeding tickets onto property tax bills, says Attorney General Chris Bentley, although he isn’t sure if local governments are pursuing this collection method yet.

The Attorney General is speaking to the passing of Bill 212 – The Government Act, 2009 which amended the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Municipal Act, 2001. The following language was put into place in order to provide municipalities with the power to add any traffic ticket fine uder default and that remain uncollected under section 69 of the Provincial Offences Act to the tax roll. Here are the changes that the Attorney General refers to:

City of Toronto Act, 2006

2. The City of Toronto Act, 2006 is amended by adding the following section:

Unpaid fines

381.1 The treasurer of the City may add any part of a fine for a commission of a provincial offence that is in default under section 69 of the Provincial Offences Act to the tax roll for any property in the City for which all of the owners are responsible for paying the fine and collect it in the same manner as municipal taxes.

Municipal Act, 2001

4. The Municipal Act, 2001 is amended by adding the following section:

Unpaid fines

441.1 Upon the request of a municipality that has entered into a transfer agreement under Part X of the Provincial Offences Act, the treasurer of a local municipality may add any part of a fine for a commission of a provincial offence that is in default under section 69 of the Provincial Offences Act to the tax roll for any property in the local municipality for which all of the owners are responsible for paying the fine and collect it in the same manner as municipal taxes. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 4, s. 4.  See: 2009, c. 33, Sched. 4, ss. 4, 5 (2).

NDP MPP Peter Kormos (Welland) said it is disgraceful for the government to suggest municipalities have the necessary tools to collect. “It is people outside a municipality and the province who are the big defaulters,” Kormos said.

The government has to acknowledge the problem by revisiting the municipal, highway traffic and provincial offenses acts to give municipalities the power they need to collect the fines, he said.

And they should enter into talks with U.S. border states and other provinces to work together to get the money owed.

“If we have this problem, others do too,” said Kormos. “It is in everyone’s interests to develop reciprocal agreements.”

Mr. Henry Jensen, vice-president with the  Ontario Association of Police Services Board’s and member of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said the fines began mounting after the implementation of the Charter of Rights because justice officials could no longer issue arrest warrants for unpaid traffic fines.

Police officers in some U.S. jurisdictions can collect speeding fines right on the spot and that may work here as well, Jensen said.

Jensen said a similar provision for provincial offences should be implemented or police should regain the right to issue arrest warrants.

Bill 212, “An Act to Promote Good Government by Amending or Repealing Certain Acts and by enacting two new Acts” also known as Bill 212 – The Government Act, 2009 was introduced in the Ontario Legislature when it was given first reading on October 27, 2009.  It came into on December 15, 2009 when it received Royal Assent. The history of this omnibus Bill  (which amended, modified, appealed Acts and even introduced new language into many of them)  is detailed in the chart below.

DateBill StageActivityCommittee
December 15, 2009Royal AssentRoyal Assent received
December 03, 2009Third ReadingCarried on Division
December 02, 2009Third ReadingDebate
November 30, 2009Ordered for Third Reading pursuant to the Order of the House
November 30, 2009Reported as amended
November 26, 2009Consideration of a BillStanding Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
November 19, 2009Consideration of a BillStanding Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
November 18, 2009Ordered referred to Standing Committee pursuant to the Order of the HouseStanding Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
November 18, 2009Second ReadingCarried
November 17, 2009Time allocated
November 04, 2009Second ReadingDebate
November 03, 2009Second ReadingDebate
November 02, 2009Second ReadingDebate
October 27, 2009First ReadingCarried
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