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Dollard des Ormeaux

Why is it so tough to play hockey in Dollard?

Young people being fined for playing hockey outdoors in Dollard-des-Ormeaux has made headlines again. What is it with Dollard and kids playing hockey that causes such a response?

The latest incident, as it stands now, is headed for Superior Court. It started almost a year ago, when two brothers were fined for playing on an outdoor rink after hours at Edward Janiszewski Park after hours. One was handed a $100 ticket, the other an $80 infraction. In their defence, the boys claim they did not know the park closed at 10 p.m. They played on the rink till 11 p.m.

There is no doubt, ignorance of the law is no excuse. But they decided to challenge the tickets, and did so – successfully. A municipal court judge ruled in their favour and the fines were withdrawn. That was in October.

Then, last week, came a notice: The ruling was being appealed by the town of Dollard. The oldest of the two brothers, a 21-year-old student, has to get himself a lawyer now to represent himself in Superior Court.

This is where the debate begins. Is it excessive? Is this the best use of taxpayers’ money? In this hockey-crazed part of the country, surely everyone has an opinion.

And why is Dollard taking such a tough stance? According to the mayor, it is the public security officer who originally issued the fine who pushed for the appeal. The mayor has asked him to drop the case or he will be fired. Wow. That implies the town’s legal decisions are made by some security guard. That’s an unlikely scenario.

And let’s add one more thing to the mix. Remember that Dollard is the same municipality who fined a homeowner for playing street hockey in front of his house on a quiet street in 2010. That case was finally settled in municipal court in March 2011, when a judge ruled in the homeowner’s favour. In the ruling the judge explained that the town’s bylaw banning street games was put in place for safety reason and in this case – playing in front of his house on a quiet street – safety was not an issue.

Dollard is a tough town when it comes to kids who just want to play hockey.

What are your thoughts? Share your comments by adding a comment below.

Brenda O’Farrell

9 comments

  1. Pingback: Evening out on the rink turns into legal battle | West Island Gazette

  2. By Edward Janiszewski

    Your facts are not totally accurate. The appeal has been made by a Montreal Municipal Court judge, and they will decide whether the appeal will be heard or withdrawn. The city of Dollard des Ormeaux does not wish the matter to go to appeal, the prosecutor decided that the judgment may prejudice further similar decisions being made.
    The infraction was issued one hour after the two boys were asked to leave the rink at at 10:30 PM.
    As for the previous hockey incident, the self-appointed organizer refused to move the street hockey game fifty yards up the street, as requested to satisfy a senior lady resident who was very annoyed by the activity in front of her home.The game involved more than a dozen noisy participanrs.
    The gentleman refused to heed the request of a police officer to mopve, insisting he would not stop the game unless he was issued with an infraction. The police officer recommended an infraction be issued..
    Street hockey has been played on the streets of our city since I moved here in 1964, without an infraction being issued..
    (Mayor) Ed Janiszewski

  3. You’re absolutely right Mr. Janiszewski.

    There have probably been no infractions since you’ve been mayor.

    The easy answer is that most of the time the criminals are little kids who have had their first taste of what it feels like to be persecuted for playing the sport that they love. Most of the time these public security officers act as though they’re real police officers and try to intimidate these kids. In addition, the majority of your public officers will try everything in their power to not have to issue a fine because it makes themselves look foolish in the process by having to give a fine to a kid for playing the sport that they love.

    Therefore, the simple reason for there being no infractions is because of fear, intimidation and the officer’s own guilty conscience more than the requirement of any fine which makes the solution not any better for anyone involved.

    If you were a real mayor with any shred of integrity; you would be looking at what other more sensible cities in Canada have done to make sure that kids are able to enjoy playing hockey outdoors without harassment and by looking at how to change a bylaw that you created when there was absolutely no pressure from any resident to have this bylaw created in the first place. It’s you who created it so don’t go and whine now since people are actually putting pressure on you by going to the media and making a mockery of you and your council. .

    You are a disgrace to this town and to all Canadians and the park named after you should be named after someone with dignity and historical significance.

    If you had any real morals or values…you should look at the things that you have done right and quit while you’re ahead instead of trying to hold on to power for another five years like other people who don’t know when to step down gracefully. This incident (along with other recent incidents in your town over the past year) have shown how woefully out of touch you are with the common residents that reside in your town and I believe that it’s finally time for a change.

    I look forward to the day when you are no longer mayor of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux.

    Enjoy retirement.

  4. Let’s see. I don’t deserve that parking ticket because I was watching my kid play hockey. And I shouldn’t be given that speeding ticket because I was about to miss the first period of my kid’s hockey game. And my kid shouldn’t have to pay for the dent in your fender because it was just his hockey puck. And that broken window–just another complaint from some kid-despising, hockey-hating old fart. And where the hell do they get off complaining about a dozen people screaming in the street in front of their houses five nights a week? Just fans having fun.Hey, folks, it’s our national game! It takes precedence over law, regulations, social order, civility and common decency. What’s wrong with you!

  5. Mr. Mayor, we need more kids in the streets. Dollard needs a REJUVENATTON. EVERYONE IS LEAVING FOR VAUDREUIL. Homes are not being maintained, how can we increase wealth in if people don’t upkeep and only ones investing and upkeeping are the young families. And what’s with this ban on Car Shelters! please don’t tell me it for esthetic reasons when the area I live in is falling apart!

  6. So let me understand what is going on

    1. Public Security advises the group of young men verbally that the park is closed sometime after 10:00 PM
    2. Public Security returns back to the park one hour later and sees that 2 young men are still in the park.
    3. Public Security issues a ticket (state of offence) to each young man for been in the park after been previously warned that the park is closed and to leave.
    4. The young men contest the state of offence at Municipal court.
    5. The young men successfully argue in Municipal court that the verbal warning issued one hour prior to the group and them was not clearly made and the signage in the park was not acceptable.
    6. The Judge agrees with the young men and acquits both of them.
    7. Montreal Municipal Court prosecutor decided to appeals the judges verdict to Superior Court, since it will affect all future cases in Quebec involving verbal warnings and signage.
    9. The young men get the notice of appeal to Superior Court and call the media.
    10. Mayor Edward Janiszewski is not aware of the Municipal court appeal and threatens to fire the employees involved.

    The story is not about hockey, the Mayor or the Public Security Employees. Its about verbal warnings and signage, and rights of citizen who live near the park , receiving a quite night of sleep at 11:30 PM.

  7. By Truth_B_Told

    Since there was reason to believe that there was a serious error in the judgement rendered, the appeal was NOT initiated by the city of DDO, but rather by the municipal Court of Montreal who feared that the jurisprudence it would create would seriously impact future cases in ALL jurisdictions, not just DDO.

    As for the DDO Mayor’s public threats to fire an employee for absolutely no reason, since he or she had absolutely nothing to do with the appeal, that is just inexcusable. What if the Court of Montreal doesn’t drop the appeal? Is the Mayor still going to deliver on that promise of firing an employee who simply did their job? That would be kind of amusing actually, because DDO subcontracts all of its’ public security personnel from a private security agency so they can pay them half the salary of most other places and none of the benefits. Firing someone under such circumstances might actually be doing them a favor, as they can go work elsewhere and get paid properly. Too bad, as the Dollard guys have a very good reputation amongst the other public security departments for being one of the most professional and very well organized (I’d know, as I work for another large public security department elsewhere and everyone knows everyone in this line of work).

  8. @Truth_B_Told..” DDO subcontracts all of its’ public security personnel from a private security agency ”

    I decide to do some reading of the Code of Penal Procedure of Quebec ” Annotated ” and if this is the case then the two brothers have a case to argue in Superior Court.

    The power given in “Art 87 of the Code of Penal Procedure of Quebec which all government inspectors use for enforcement of their respected acts, only applies to government Employees of the Province, City or Town and ought not apply to personnel from a private security agency , As reference in the “2012 Code of Penal Procedure of Quebec Annotated”

    Thus the powers of arrest and the issuing statement of offence should be argued as been Illegal, and should be dismiss .

    Furthermore in the public interest The Gazette and its legal department should investigated the legalities of powers of arrest and the issuing of statement of offence by private security agency employees subcontracted to enforce City by-laws.

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