Fight the Fines case #9 — $880 ticket for using metal detector in Ottawa park

Meet Mark Sylvestre of Ottawa. Last month, Sylvestre visited Strathcona Park with his trusty metal detector, looking for discarded collectibles or coins. He came away with a whopping $880! Um, an $880 fine, that is.

You see, as Sylvestre was doing his treasure hunt thing, two City of Ottawa bylaw officers suddenly appeared. And just like that, Sylvestre became another victim of the Pandemic Police.

His crime: walking alone in a virtually-deserted public park. How dare he!

Two bylaw officers issue one ticket

Incidentally, the irony was both profound and perverse: given the proximity of the two bylaw officers to one and other and then later to Mark himself, they were the ones who were NOT practicing social distancing that day.

Gee, I wonder if later on that day each bylaw officer gave the other a ticket? But I digress…

But why did they have to give Sylvestre such a whopping fine? Surely the role of bylaw and law enforcement during this global pandemic is to educate, warn and disperse those who are breaking bylaws. Surely the fining provision should be the last resort. Or are certain municipalities looking upon this global pandemic as a means for revenue-generation?

If so, talk about insult to injury. Especially for someone like Mark Sylvestre, who is a laid-off mover through absolutely no fault of his own. Like billions around the globe, he is yet another victim of the economy-crippling Wuhan virus.

Ticket written before Ottawa reversed policy

We don’t think that’s right… especially since the City of Ottawa recently reversed its own policy. That’s right – people can now freely walk through Ottawa parks without fear of getting dinged with a fine of almost $1,000.

In any event, we’re going to bat for Mark Sylvestre.

Our superb criminal lawyer, Sam Goldstein, has agreed to take on Sylvestre as his latest client in our FightTheFines.com crowd-funding campaign.

When things get back to normal, justice will be done. Enough is enough already!