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Brampton residents upset after being dinged with hefty snow-clearing fines from city

Several Brampton residents got an unpleasant spring surprise on their tax bill after the city doled out winter snow-clearing fines and charges from the previous winter in April.

Six residents came to speak to Brampton council at its regular meeting on May 15, asking that part or all of the fines and charges incurred for not meeting the city’s sidewalk snow-clearing standards be forgiven.

According to city bylaws, residents have until 11 a.m. the day after a major snowfall to clear residential sidewalks and walkways in some parts of the city, or face up to $2,000 in fines and charges to have a private contractor do the work.

Manager of bylaw service, Jean-Pierre Maurice, said the city received approximately 2,000 complaints this past winter.

If a resident doesn’t properly clear the snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of their property and a neighbour complains, the city will dispatch a bylaw officer to the residence or property and issue an eight-hour warning. Once that expires the city can call in a private contractor and back charge the property owner on their tax bill.
According to one resident, they received a $250 fine as well as a $50 administrative fee in addition to the city’s cost to remove the snow.

“I’d be willing to pay the fee that was paid for the third-party contractor to come lay the salt,” Tony Abousawan told council, adding he was away and received no notice. “But, in my opinion $300 is very excessive.”
Another resident, Khalid Malik, said he was fined $467 incurred while he was in the hospital undergoing heart surgery. Roxanne Manlapez said she was fined despite being at home with a newborn baby while her husband was away for work for a week.

Wards 3 and 4 Coun. Martin Medeiros tabled a motion — which council didn’t pass — to remove the fees for those who delegated to council at the meeting.

While council voted against reducing or removing the fines at the May 15 meeting, it did pass a motion to refer the issue back to staff to report back at a later meeting.

News Credit – Brampton Guardian

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