Gander writing off 30-year period of outstanding fines
Preventative measures taken to avoid repeat
“It’s a newer component, so that’s why we’ve only written off fines so far as 2007, in hopes that the more recent ones there’s still a chance that they’ll get included.”
Deputy Mayor Cyril Abbott
A tidy sum is being scratched from the Town of Gander’s books.
Seeing no hope in collecting on 30 years of outstanding fines, a motion was passed at the March 21 meeting of council to write off all outstanding fines from 1987 to 2007.
During the 30-year period 733 fines were issued but were never paid. In total, it added up to $104,326.50.
Deputy Mayor Cyril Abbott said all of the outstanding fines were issued through Municipal Enforcement, under the Highway Traffic Act, which falls under provincial jurisdiction.
“We had no control over these fines, we have no mechanism for chasing the money until the province does its thing first,” he said. “So when we got to go through the process, people had passed or moved, it just looked like there was no way to collect this outstanding fines sensibly.”
The town considered availing of a third party collection agency, however, Abbott said dealing with fines on an individual basis would not be worth the agency’s effort because the amount would be so small.
Measures in place
Abbott cautions those who might think it’s perfectly acceptable to leave tickets unpaid in the hopes it will eventually written off.
He’s been informed that once Municipal Enforcement issues a ticket under the Highway Traffic Act, which goes to the province for collection, it becomes attached to the offender’s license.
“So now, if the ticket remains unpaid, if a person goes to renew their registration or license, it’s on file,” he said. “It’s a newer component, so that’s why we’ve only written off fines so far as 2007, in hopes that the more recent ones there’s still a chance that they’ll get included.”