Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Night walk in park no crime

  • Print

It was no walk in the park for Doug Tervoort, who discovered pedestrians can be charged for a simple midnight stroll on public green space.

Mr. Tervoort was arrested and ticketed by city police earlier this summer for walking in Bonnycastle Park after hours, even though he wasn't causing problems or disturbing the peace. His "mistake" could cost him a $275 fine, but he is fighting the matter in the courts.

He was understandably shocked by his treatment, but then most Winnipeggers probably aren't aware they can be charged with an offence for walking in a city-owned park after 10 p.m. and before 7 a.m.

Under the city's park bylaw, the city can establish hours of use for a park or "part of a park." The hours of operation, however, must be posted. In some parks, gates are closed at 10 p.m. and not opened until 7 a.m., which blocks vehicles, but not people on foot.

The idea that a senior citizen out for an early morning stroll could be ticketed is preposterous. If the problem is rowdyism after hours, then that's what police should be targeting.

In the case of Mr. Tervoort, police may have been entitled to question him, but once it was determined he wasn't a threat to public safety, he should have been allowed to carry on. There are three signs in the park posting its hours of operation, but pedestrians can enter it from anywhere on the street, which means many people could be breaking the law without knowing it.

As a downtown park, Bonnycastle can be a magnet for rowdy or illegal behaviour, so a police presence is not unusual, particularly since the area is also a residential district.

The idea, however, that public greenways can be closed completely after sunset needs to be reviewed to ensure that citizens engaged in ordinary activities are not liable to being arrested and ticketed.

Taxpayers should be allowed to use their parks without wondering if they are breaking the law as the sun dips below the horizon.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2013 A8

History

Updated on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:00 AM CDT: Adds image

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Drew Willy says team couldn't get anything going

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google