An Island Lakes homeowner who refuses to mow the lawn on an adjacent city boulevard won a reprieve in court this morning.
Richard Hykawy’s trial in bylaw court was unexpectedly adjourned when Justice of the Peace Judeta Cohn said she would allow Hykawy time to file a Charter challenge to a City of Winnipeg bylaw.
Hykawy, who represented himself, said the city bylaw that forces homeowners to mow adjacent boulevard lawns is forced labour and the equivalent of slavery and violates his Charter rights.
Hykawy has refused to mow the boulevard alongside his Henry Dormer Drive home. After receiving repeated fines, which have been tacked onto his property tax bill, the city finally took him to bylaw court.
Hykawy has replaced the grass on his front and rear yards with landscaped rocks.
The grass on his boulevard has unexpectedly died.
City of Winnipeg lawyer Jessica Hall told Cohn that if Hykawy was going to rely on his rights according to the Charter, he first is required to file a motion in Queen’s Bench, asking the Attorney General of Canada and the A-G of Manitoba if they are willing to comment on his challenge.
Hykawy said he was disappointed with the adjournment, adding he was hoping that the Justice of Peace would have made a ruling on his Charter argument and thrown out the charge.
"I believe this court is honour-bound to protect my rights under the Charter," Hykawy told Cohn.
Hykawy said he can’t afford a lawyer and will make his application at Queen’s Bench on his own, once he figures out how to do it.
"It can’t be rocket science," Hykawy said outside of court.
Cohn adjourned the trial to August 22, when Hykawy will be required to state what response he has received from the governments of Manitoba and Canada.