Man faces $455 fine for feeding squirrel
Published Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:34PM EST
A man is facing a $455 fine and an arrest warrant for feeding a squirrel in Westmount Park.
Bruce Kert found some peanuts on the ground in the park in September 2006. He tossed a few to a nearby squirrel, and was given a ticket by Westmount Public Security for $75.
"I was shocked," he said.
Kert contested the ticket, and was told he'd receive a summons to appear in court. Kert says the summons never came to his house.
"No registered letter, no phone call, nothing," he said. "So I went to the court house and found out I owed $455 and there was a warrant for my arrest."
The court granted him a retrial, but due to lack of funds he will be representing himself.
Westmount does have a bylaw against feeding squirrels, but there are no signs up in the park. There are signs about picking up after your dog and staying off your bicycle.
Westmount Mayor Karin Marks says the bylaw is in place for a reason.
"First of all, it's a public health issue," said Marks. "It draws not only squirrels but rats and it creates a serious problem, and secondly the issue of peanut allergies is a big one."