Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lawn spat fails to get off ground

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AN Island Lakes homeowner who refuses to mow the lawn on an adjacent city boulevard didn't get his day in court.

Richard Hykawy's trial in bylaw court Friday 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. He said it violates his charter rights.

Hykawy has refused to mow the boulevard on the side of his Henry Dormer Drive home. After receiving repeated fines, which have been tacked onto his property-tax bill, the city 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 if Hykawy wants to argue a breach of his charter rights, he must file a motion in Court of Queen's Bench, asking the attorney general of Canada and the attorney general of Manitoba if they are willing to comment on his challenge.

Hykawy said he is disappointed with the adjournment, adding he had hoped the justice of the 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 will continue to refuse to mow the boulevard lawn, adding he has no idea how the grass there died.

Hykawy said he can't afford a lawyer and will make his application at Court of Queen's Bench on his own, once he figures out how to do it.

Cohn adjourned the trial to Aug. 22, when Hykawy will be required to state what response he has received from the governments of Manitoba and Canada.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 8, 2013 B1

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