Tamara on the beach: Why we hired a lawyer to fight an $880 ticket

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Folks, I hate to ask, but ask I must...

Since the Wuhan virus became a grim fact of life, we have seen governments of every level and every political stripe invoke draconian measures to “flatten the curve.” And in the process, they have also, in many cases, flattened our constitutional rights.

Over the months, we have brought you tales of certain over-zealous authorities acting in an egregious fashion.

Like the senior who was targeted for eating a muffin and drinking a cup of coffee in his car with the windows rolled-up at a Tim Horton’s parking lot.

Or that lone individual sitting on a bench in a deserted park.

And then there’s our most recent Fight The Fines case of Tamara Ugolini.

She’s the Cobourg, Ont. resident that was fined for having the temerity to walk along a beach with her 60-year-old friend. By the way, Tamara accessed the beach in a legal fashion meaning there should not have been a fine issued in the first place, but apparently, being in the right curries little favour with the Pandemic Police.

In fact, in Tamara’s case, she was actually arrested, handcuffed, placed in a police cruiser and forced to sit in a jail cell for almost two hours – all for strolling along a beach!

And the laws are so arbitrary from municipality to municipality. Indeed, during a recent visit to Toronto’s eastern beaches, I couldn’t help but notice that unlike Cobourg, there were no Berlin Wall-style fences separating the populace from the waters of Lake Ontario.

Hopefully this rant doesn’t give Toronto Mayor John Tory any ideas – he did seal off High Park to Torontonians back in May out of fear that they might congregate en masse to sniff the cherry blossom trees after all…

What adds to the absurdity is that the population of the City of Toronto is almost three million; Cobourg’s population is only about 20,000.

Yet the small town Cobourg clamps down its beautiful beach, while the beaches remain open in the 416 megacity? How does that make any sense?

We are fighting back against these silly Wuhan virus fines  primarily because no other institution is. But folks, we need your help.

The top legal talent we’ve retained charge about $4,000 per case. You might think it is foolhardy to spend that much when the typical coronavirus ticket is only $880.

But that’s not the point.

We’re fighting these tickets for two reasons: for starters, it is all about the principle at stake. Sorry, but even when the Emergency Act is invoked, that does not allow government to trump the charter rights of Canadian citizens.

Secondly, the people we are representing cannot afford such legal expenditures, especially during these dire economic times.

Thankfully, there is strength in numbers. And so if we all chip-in a donation – be it $5 or $50 or $500 – we can pay our lawyers’ bills and continue to fight for justice.

Please visit www.FightTheFines.com. And if you’re able to, kindly make a donation.

Our thanks in advance.

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