FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – OCTOBER 26, 2014
Mayoral candidate Ari Goldkind wants to make snow non-removal a ticketable offence. Doing so, he says, addresses three important issues: “Firstly we always get two or three large pourings of snow each winter, and the days that follow are always chaotic, with plows and salters competing for space on already crowded streets. Inevitably there are those people who fail to follow the law and do not clear their walks within 24 hours. This poses a danger to pedestrians, particularly seniors and those with mobility challenges, and adds to the city’s snow-clearing burden.”
“At the same time we have a small army of traffic-parking enforcement officers, who patrol the streets issuing tickets for those who see fit to violate our parking laws while the rest of us respect them. I would seek to amend regulations to assign an additional power to these officers: the power to issue tickets for failure to remove snow. They are there anyway – no extra pay would be due. And this action would a furtherance of public service.”
Goldkind points out that a recurring theme of this election has been “finding efficiencies.” The city, he says, needs to identify better ways to make things happen as well as new sources of revenue. Snow tickets would provide both.
If snow is cleared, no money is due. The city does not collect, and it saves a small amount in not having to plow that section of sidewalk. Violators would get one warning on first offence, and if the snow is not cleared within 12-24 hours, a ticket ensues.
Further, re parking tickets, Goldkind states: “We used to be able to mail in to the City by checking an option on the reverse of the ticket saying we dispute the ticket, and want to go to trial. For years now the City has not allowed us to mail in our request for a trial. Now we have to physically attend in person at Civic Halls and stand in line during the hours they are open (and pay high prices to park there while doing so). This is an injustice because it requires Torontonians to take time off of work and stand in line to file, rather than just mailing in our objection or objecting on-line. We can pay tickets on-line, why can’t we request a trial on-line?”
Goldkind states that although parking fines represent a significant revenue source for the city, it is every Torontonian’s right to contest the ticket. “As part of bringing Toronto into the 21st century as an intelligent city, the request to set a trial date should be an online option. It is archaic if not worse for the city to avoid the cost of a trial by making it difficult for citizens to pursue their rights. And if people did not show up for that trial, they would be surcharged $30.00 for wasting the Court’s time.”
Lastly, Goldkind would also seek to better enforce parking space rules, by preventing the abuse of the handicapped parking sticker program by those who are not disabled, and “this is a quiet issue that should become louder.”
“I am first and foremost in favour of the people of Toronto. In these cases I am looking to make our lives easier by improving the ticketing system. These are the types of “small things” that a Mayor should help take care of.”
To speak to Mr. Goldkind for comment: