Under Mayor David Miller (2003-2010) Torontonians were upset over the Mayor’s tax grab through the significant increase in parking fees and parking tickets. What made it worse is that the City also made it more costly to fight a ticket than to pay for it. In order to fight a ticket the recipient had to take time off work to go and fight the $30 or even $60 ticket (some are even more expensive). That could mean taking as much as 2 hours off work or more. That is a cost that both employers and drivers would have to swallow to fight a $30 ticket. Most individuals simply wouldn’t argue such a ticket, even when it was wrongfully issued by the parking enforcement officer…something that happens much more often than admitted by the City.
An example of this was a few years ago when a MetroActive member’s car stalled on Bay Street and rather than ask if the driver (a younge lady) required some help, the parking enforcement officer gave her a ticket and drove off. Meanwhile, the young driver was stressed out by the honking cars, heavy traffic and trying to figure out what to do. Fortunately, someone stopped and gave her a hand. When she brought her story to the MetroActive staff we sent someone down to the City to file a complaint and the City withdrew the ticket. One of our members, a successful Bay Street lawyer was prepared to file a lawsuit against the City, but once the ticket was cancelled the young driver decided not to pursue it any further.
On another incident, one of the MetroActive volunteers helping out at a charity fundraiser parked in a designated spot only to find his car ticketed when he returned. Turns out that there were two signs on the street that were contraditory to each other and the parking enforcement officer decided to only read the sign that would allow him to write the ticket and to ignore the other sign. The discussion following this incident resulted in the strong belief that the enforcement officer was being paid based on the number of tickets being written.
As part of Mayor Miller’s aggressive attack on driver’s in Toronto, there are now thousands of cars operated by the city with matching parking enformcement officers looking for every opportunity to hand out a ticket. In order to support this expensive arm, bureacracy, or whatever you want to call it, the city has to collect money (indirect taxes) by issuing parking tickets. Meanwhile, the cars themselves are not only adding to the traffic problem in the city, but are also polluting our air. If you happen to be running 1 minute late from your appointment chances are there is a ticket already on your windshield.
However, things are beginning to look up. Since Rob Ford has been elected Mayor of Toronto the City is making it easier for driers to have parking tickets tossed out.
If you’ve received a parking ticket as a result of a broken or out-of-serivce parking meter or pay-and-display machine, or if you’re ticket was not displayed properly on your dashboard, the City has new measures. If you fit this scenario you may submit your ticket by fax or email, together with supporting documentation, such as a valid pay-and-display receipt and request your ticket be cancelled.
It is estimated that atleast 40,000 ticket holders each year will be able to benefit from this measure and avoid having to go to court. Wow, that is atleast $1.2 million that the City is collecting through its thousands of parking enforcement officers. If they were a private company, they would have been fined for their behaviour at the very least.
The fax for requesting your parking ticket be cancelled is 416 696-4652 and the e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org