The Canadian Civil Liberties Association wants to help people issued tickets for municipal recreational infractions during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an April 19, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association wants to help people issued tickets for municipal recreational infractions during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an April 19, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Civil Liberties group seeks amnesty for recreational tickets issued during COVID

Looking for right case to mount challenge

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it’s going to seek amnesty for all tickets issued for municipal recreational infractions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive director Michael Bryant says the group will also call for fines to be forgiven in the response by municipal governments that is an “unconstitutional mess.”

The association has received at least 100 public complaints from those who have been ticketed by bylaw or police officers for defying emergency management offences such as jogging on golf courses or exercising in parks.

Bryant says the restrictions designed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus are an abuse of power because the recreation activities involved are usually harmless and should be met with warnings rather than costly fines.

And he says political pressure on police and bylaw officers to ticket people is unconstitutional.

Bryant adds the association is looking for the right case to mount a challenge, but expects a Canadian lawyer will take up the cause.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2020.

Coronavirus