Street hockey fine on West Island overturned
Published Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:58PM EST
POINTE-CLAIRE - Score one for the great Canadian tradition of street hockey.
After a year-long battle, a Dollard-des-Ormeaux dad has overturned a $75 fine handed down after a neighbour complained about a game of street hockey last March.
David Sasson appeared in Pointe-Claire municipal court Thursday morning to contest the ticket. In the end, he won't have to pay because of a technicality.
The judge dismissed the fine on the grounds that the bylaw was worded in a manner that made it too restrictive.
City officials said last year that players had been making a sufficient amount of noise to cause a neighbour to complain.
When a municipal worker showed up and asked that the game be moved to a nearby park, Sasson said he'd rather be fined.
Street hockey is technically illegal in the West Island municipality of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, as it is throughout Quebec, but like most places the bylaw is rarely enforced.
Sasson's 11-year-old son Josh said last year he thought the case was unfair, particularly because street hockey is so commonly played by young people.
"I bet you they had kids, so I don't think they should have complained, and I bet you they played when they were younger," he said.
His father today concurred.
"It's about the principle, kids should be allowed to play hockey in a safe environment. We've been doing it for 100 years and we should be allowed to do it for another 100 years," said David Sasson.Halifax considered passing an anti-road hockey bylaw in 2006, which prompted Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby to intervene.
And, in 2004, Bobby Orr did the same in a newspaper interview where he protested a proposed street-hockey ban in Rothesay, N.B.
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act technically outlaws all game-playing on public streets. Some cities also have such a rule on the books, but it's only enforced on the rare occasions when someone complains.
with files from The Canadian Press