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Clash over snow-clearing tickets

Activist insists city's penalties legally invalid

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/12/2015 (255 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Confusion remains over the legality of parking tickets issued during residential street plowing.

The city is launching its first residential street plowing of this winter season tonight and has imposed 12-hour parking restrictions across the city until Tuesday at 7 a.m.

A local activist, who insists the city has no authority to issue tickets on residential streets that are not properly signed, has threatened a class-action suit.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A local activist, who insists the city has no authority to issue tickets on residential streets that are not properly signed, has threatened a class-action suit. Purchase Photo Print

But the local activist group that forced the city to restrict its ticket-issuing policy says city hall still doesn't have the authority to issue any tickets on a residential street that hasn't been properly signed.

Todd Dube, spokesman for WiseUp Winnipeg, said provincial law says city hall can issue tickets to vehicles parked on a residential street only if signs have been posted or the city has passed a bylaw empowering tickets to be issued -- which council has not done.

That's in contrast to the city's position stated Dec. 11 that tickets can be issued, even if the street is not signed, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"All other western Canadian cities sign parking restrictions," said Dube, who said he will continue to fight city hall until it brings its policies and procedures in line with provincial law.

Last week, city hall acknowledged it cannot issue parking tickets to motorists outside the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- but it could during that time, even if the streets were not signed.

As a result of Dube's court challenge, the city asked the court to quash all outstanding tickets for snow-clearing-related parking violations but it would not issue refunds to those who did pay tickets in the past three years.

Dube has threatened to launch a class-action suit against city hall if it doesn't reverse its position and refund those who paid the illegal tickets.

Michael Jack, the city's chief operating officer, said Dec. 11 motorists faced the possibility of having their vehicles towed or ticketed if they parked on residential streets scheduled for plowing between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. -- but refused to confirm tickets would be issued.

Dube said such tickets would not be valid, and the city should admit that and stop threatening motorists.

Dube said he hoped motorists would comply with the city's snow-clearing efforts and not park their vehicles on streets that are scheduled to be plowed.

Dube said if the city wants to issue tickets, it should comply with provincial law and either place signs on the streets that are to be plowed or pass a bylaw, as required by provincial legislation.

Winter parking bans on posted snow routes are in effect from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., from Dec. 1 until March 1.

For the past three years, the city has imposed 12-hour parking bans on residential streets as part of its Know Your Zone snow-clearing effort, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Dube's court challenge revealed the city bylaw authorizing the Know Your Zone ban was improperly written and unenforceable.

Jack said while tickets cannot be issued outside the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., vehicles could be subject to a courtesy tow -- moved to another location to facilitate street plowing -- during those other hours.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Aldo Santin.

History

Updated on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 6:51 AM CST: Adds letter to Michael Jack, changes picture

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