Selkirk residents who choose to challenge parking tickets will no longer need a court date when new legislation takes effect this month.
The Province introduced the Municipal By-law Enforcement Act for the City of Winnipeg on August 8, 2016 and the Act will be extended to the rest of the province on February 7, 2017.
According to Dave Thorne, Director of Protective Services for the City of Selkirk, the Act will reduce court time and create a fair, simple and cost effective way to challenge tickets.
The Act affects parking tickets as well as Animal Control offences.
Taking Court Out of the Process
“The Legislation aims to reduce the amount of time spent in court, so the Province has taken court right out of the process,” Thorne said. “If you choose to challenge a ticket you’ve received in the City of Selkirk, you will now go to 200 Eaton Avenue, not to Provincial Court.”
The City of Selkirk approved its Administrative Penalties By-law at the January 23 council meeting. The by-law establishes the penalties system for the enforcement of both parking tickets and Animal Control offences.
“The number one issue for us is compliance,” Thorne said. He said the city encourages people to comply with parking and animal control by-laws. “The City doesn’t want to be writing tickets. We would rather the public adhere to the by-laws. That is our first choice.”
The City issues approximately 550 parking tickets per year, compared to around 20 Animal Control tickets, so Thorne said the Act primarily involves parking disputes.
Parking by-laws are in place to assist with the smooth flow of traffic, to allow ample parking for businesses and, at this time of year, to allow for efficient snow clearing operations, specifically in residential areas.
Two-tiered Option for Disputes
When tickets are issued, there is a two-tiered option for the recipient to dispute the ticket. Thorne said beginning February 7, if you receive a parking ticket you do not agree with, you can contact the City of Selkirk, either in person at 200 Eaton Ave., by mail, or online at www.myselkirk.ca/bylawticket.
Your dispute would be handled by a Screening Officer who has been appointed by the City. The Screening Officer hears the dispute and can either uphold the penalty, reduce the penalty if permitted under the by-law, or cancel it.
If you aren’t satisfied with the Screening Officer’s decision, you can request a review of the decision by an adjudicator who is appointed by the Province. The City will contact the Chief Adjudicator to arrange for an adjudication sitting.
There is a $25 fee to go to the adjudication process, however, if the adjudicator finds in your favour, the fee is refunded.
Adjudicator decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
If you choose to pay your parking ticket and not challenge it, there is a discount if it’s paid within 11 days.
Further details are available at www.myselkirk.ca/bylawticket .