Fake tick­ets are not ‘vic­tim­less’

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Const. says he is­sued real tick­ets (Feb. 8)

Const. Stephen Travale is on trial, ac­cused of “is­su­ing phoney tick­ets” to street peo­ple.

In his de­fence, he in­sists that he was is­su­ing “real tick­ets”. He and his bosses, who, as he says, “like tick­ets”, seem obliv­i­ous of the fact that real tick­ets do real harm.

Of course street peo­ple don’t pay those tick­ets — how could they? If they had ad­e­quate and de­pend­able in­come (such as you I and can use to pay the odd ticket for park­ing etc.) they would not be liv­ing on the street.

Even the most hard-headed among us must wish for street peo­ple to find shel­ter, to be able to get their lives to­gether. Some of us feel com­pas­sion. Some of us just want them to cost us less in emer­gency care (med­i­cal, polic­ing) and stress on our neigh­bour­hoods. The street peo­ple them­selves want to be less des­per­ately vul­ner­a­ble. With every­one in agree­ment, why doesn’t it hap­pen?

Re­mem­ber those tick­ets? They were not paid; there was no money to pay them. No­body ex­pected them to be paid. But they were not for­given, not can­celled. They ended up as debt, as re­ports against their credit rat­ing.

If you have ever rented a place to live, you are prob­a­bly aware that your prospec­tive land­lords checked your credit rat­ing. If you had un­paid debts, they were free to refuse you. Those real tick­ets are un­paid debts, an­other fac­tor which is keep­ing real peo­ple on the streets. Mar­i­anne Ve­spry, Hamil­ton

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