Gore Bay decides to ticket, fine downtown parking infractions

GORE BAY – The Town of Gore Bay will soon be ticketing people who continue to park in no parking areas, one example being in front of the Canada Post office downtown.

“At the last general government meeting there was discussion about implementing more enforcement on parking violations,” said Arthur Moran, town bylaw enforcement officer at a council meeting last week. “In my follow up I looked to determine the process we could use. I looked at another municipality that issues tickets but has no formal follow up to it (to collect fines).”  

“The other option I was looking into was to set up a system using POA (Provincial Offences Act) I would hand out the ticket to violators of the no parking bylaws and they (POA) would issue the fine notice,” said Mr. Moran. He explained the activation fee to the town would be $250. “There would be a cost of $8.25 for information for follow up contact. And if under this system the violator still refuses to pay the fine we can go to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and they would provide a follow-up letter. And if the person who is in violation of the no parking bylaw still has not paid the fine they MTO send a letter to the POA indicating when this person goes to renew their permits to be on the road, it will be affected.” 

“If we go with the example of the other municipality’s bylaw, it’s a throw away ticket with no follow up enforcement,” said Mr. Moran. “So, if council wants me to write tickets with the hope that people will pay a fine, I’m not sure this is a good use of time. Handing out a ticket is a deterrent, but if there is nothing in place to make sure the person pays the fine the ticket will end up on the floor in the vehicle.”

“It’s been a challenging process to get the process worked out with the POA. But, it is a process I highly recommend, for $250 we will be able to use the information program by MTO for follow up. This is a lot different than no follow up at all.”

Mr. Moran explained the amendments to the town’s current no parking bylaw would be small.

Councillor Ken Blodgett asked what the range of the fines would be for those contravening the no parking laws.

Fines would range from $55-100,” said Mr. Moran. 

“Is the $250 fee a one time or annual fee?” asked Councillor Kevin Woestenenk.

“My understanding is that this is an annual fee,” said Mr. Moran.

Mayor Dan Osborne said, “at least with this system in place it provides a little beef behind it if someone is issued a ticket and decides they don’t want to pay the fine.” He said up until now the town has had nothing to back this up.

“And it will make people think twice about parking in no parking areas,” said Mayor Osborne.

Councillor Kevin Woestenenk wanted to make sure that the no parking spots be would be clearly identified to which Mayor Osborne said would be the case. 

Councillor Blodgett informed members of council that people have recently been parking in the gravel area at the old tennis courts area. “I have a hard time with restricting parking in town and punishing people when they are here visiting the town and shopping in our businesses when they are here.”

Councillor Kevin Woestenenk said,  “I don’t think it is a problem with people parking on the old tennis court area this summer. It is currently basically a sand pit. But when construction starts on the new pavilion this will have to be restricted.” He again stressed that everything has to be identified as to areas where no parking is allowed with signs and no parking messages on the road in front of these locations. 

“It is our intention once we get the right colour of paint to, for instance, have no parking lines on the road in front of the post office, as well as the signs,” said Mayor Osborne. 

Councillor Paulie Nodecker questioned if the no parking designated areas identified are going to include in front of fire hydrants, which Mr. Moran said would be the case.

Councillor Kevin Woestenenk made the motion that was seconded by Councillor Paulie Nodecker to amend Bylaw 2021-18 and be passed for the no parking regulations in the Town of Gore Bay.