The worst place to park in Canada: Parking ticket traps, unfair tickets (CBC Marketplace)

♪ ♪>>This is“Marketplace”.The first ever national ticket trap take-down.>>They’re just getting a cash grab and it’s happening day and day.>>Undercover in the underground.>>Request to move locations.>>Parking attendants caught ripping you off.>>You’re not going to pay it.>>No, definitely not.>>You can take this ticket and throw it in the garbage.>>And high tech ways to make you pay.>>Possibly a city where you can’t get away without paying for parking.>>You can still do it, but I would tell you that is a hard game to play.>>This is your“Marketplace”.With over 23 million cars on the road, more than ever before parking enforcement has become big business. No national survey of parking tickets has ever been done, so“Marketplace”digs up data on more than 15 million tickets, mostly made public for the first time. We crunch the numbers and come up with Canada’s worst ticket traps.>>First up, Winnipeg, where our data shows they have the highest fines in the country.>>There’s the ticket there.>>Brian McKay is taking us on a tour you won’t want to miss.>>You’ll be able to tag the vehicle because people didn’t read the sign properly.>>His job, handing out parking fines for the past five years, but this week he quit, fed up with people getting unfair tickets.>>I said, are you kidding me? You don’t tag there, do you?>>He’s going to reveal how you can get tricked into getting tagged with a pricey ticket. First stop, the exchange district.>>Here’s the sign. Tells me for two hours I can park between 8 a.m. and 1730 hours. So I can park here.>>No, that will get you a ticket.>>But the sign says I can park there.>>But you’ll be too close to the fire hydrant.>>The bylaw says you have to be three metres from the fire hydrant but both signs on either side say you can park in between. Confused yet? We sure are.>>The signs are so close together that if you park two cars there, both of them are going to be in violation.>>The data shows $23,000 in fines were given out last year in this spot alone. This sounds like a bureaucrat’s dream.>>I got tired of it. ♪ ♪>>Brian also got tired of this next ticket trap, one of the worst he’s ever seen.>>Oh, yeah, it’s something I never issued any tickets for, because I didn’t believe it. It’s just something I go, that’s not fair.>>Kasha Buchman doesn’t think this spot’s fair either. She works with youth in crisis. One day she’s called to the health centre, parks her car, pays for parking and heads across the street. But when she comes back, before her time expires.>>Had five minutes left, and I still got a ticket.>>A $35 parking ticket, 70 if she doesn’t pay within 15 days, for something surprising.>>For parking within three metres of an unmarked crosswalk which is definitely not a crosswalk.>>That’s it right behind you there.>>Correct.>>Where is the crosswalk, I can’t see it.>>There is though crosswalk.>>Can we go down there and have a look? ♪ ♪>>So you were parked right here.>>I was actually parked a little bit farther right over here where the sign says that I can park.>>And that sign says>>That you can park behind the sign.>>See what happens when we cross. ♪ ♪>>Nobody is stopping for us. ♪ ♪ What do you think?>>It’s not a crosswalk. [Laughter]>>It isn’t at all. No. Used to be somebody’s old driveway. They should just move the sign over the three metres, and that would have saved everybody a lot of trouble.>>Why don’t they?>>I think they’re just — it’s a cash grab. That’s what basically it is, it’s a cash grab.>>In fact, our data shows this side of the street is the third most ticketed in the city. In just one year, over $96,000 in fines. ♪ ♪>>Veteran defence lawyer John Weingust has spent part of his long career challenging the legality of parking tickets. At 86, he’s still defending people in court.>>Parking should be regulated. It should not be used for the purpose of revenue.>>The data shows here in the city of Toronto, $100 million in parking fines are given out every year. 247 tickets are issued every hour.>>The city says that basically they issue these parking tickets to, quote, ensure safe traffic flow.>>Oh, that’s nonsense.>>Why?>>Because safe traffic flow has nothing to do with parking.>>If I park, you know, blocking rush hour that’s got to be a traffic flow issue.>>That’s right, rush hour is a regulation, you can’t park during rush hour.>>So it’s just about gouging people you think.>>They’re gouging the motorists, absolutely.>>Over $100 million a year in revenue, nothing to sneeze at.>>That’s right and they’re not going to give that up.>>Toronto is not alone. Get this. Our data tells us that Halifax has the cheapest fines but Haligonians get more tickets per resident than anywhere else in Canada. Back in Winnipeg, the data reveals that ticket traps Brian shows us are also some of the most ticketed spots in the city. Like this third trap on Gary Street. Over $30,000 in fines were given out here last year. We catch Kim about to pay to park.>>Can you park here?>>I think I can, yeah. It looks like I can.>>Shouldn’t the signs tell you.>>The signs should tell me.>>So what does this sign tell Kim?>>This means, I think, there’s no parking, but it’s loading, and this means that I am good to park here for up to two hours.>>Look behind you.>>But there’s a fire hydrant.>>Where is the loading zone then?>>You can’t load technically.>>It says you can.>>Oh, it’s a conspiracy.>>Conspiracy? She may be on to something. Brian says he flagged these ticket traps to the city including the infamous ghost crosswalk.>>I said this is kind of unfair, maybe somebody should do a sign report and have it moved back, because it’s just something that’s not right. ♪ ♪>>These drivers don’t think it’s right either. Today they’re out warning other motorists not to park here.>>They’ve been handing them out for decades right there, and it’s time that it ended.>>So why won’t the city fix it’s confusing signs? Armed with our list of ticket traps, I meet up with the Winnipeg parking authority’s manager of compliance and regulations, Ryan Arabsky.>>We talked to a gentleman who recently resigned. He says despite his letting the parking authority know about these problems, nothing is done. Why is that?>>Well, I quite disagree with that. In three years we’ve sent off 546 signage deficiencies to public works to address.>>Tens of thousands of dollars every year the city rakes in in revenue off that crosswalk. Why don’t they change it?>>As all signage issues that get brought to our attention, we will definitely look into it.>>People call it a bait trap. Do you agree with that term?>>No, I actually don’t. There definitely might be areas where we issue more tickets, but that’s because of high demand and the convenience of that particular parking spot.>>Well, apparently it’s not too convenient for a lot of people who get tickets. They park there, the sign is very clear. You can park up to the post, yet they still get tickets for this, I call it a ghost crosswalk. Is that fair? I mean…>>No, it is a curb cut-out, and it is definitely a walkway.>>This isn’t a revenue grab?>>This is not a revenue grab whatsoever, no.>>But only a few weeks after our interview, a small victory for Winnipeg motorists. They do move that sign. Ammunition for Kasha’s next battle, which just happens to fall on her birthday.>>I have a feeling you’re not going to let this go, are you?>>No, I will go to court on my birthday to fight this $35 ticket.>>Need some help with your parking battle?>>We’ve got lots of ticket traps and tricks to reveal about your city on Facebook, like in Vancouver where $32 million in fines were handed out last year, and guess where one of the most ticketed spots is?>>Here on the same block as a parking authority office. The parking wars heat up.>>The way they conduct their business, we’re going to give you to a collections agency then tow your car.>>When not to pay that ticket. Sign up for our newsletter at>>The real deal on parking fines. On your“Marketplace.”♪ ♪>>We’re on a stakeout in this underground parking garage in Mississauga, Ontario.>>Here he comes.>>Investigating the big business of parking enforcement in Canada.>>Do you want us to move locations to get more of them?>>Is there something underhanded going on in the underground? We’ll find out in a sec. But first, Ralitza Shopova and her father Val Assenov are parking mad. Val’s a software engineer in Mississauga, Ontario. A couple of months ago he has a job interview, so he parks his car in this Toronto parking lot, and pays for parking until the end of the day to be safe, but when he comes out just an hour later…>>I was so surprised to see this receipt tucked in here, and I say what the hell, I already pay.>>A $69.75 ticket for failing to display valid receipt. Val says he did display his receipt.>>I did everything right. I have my receipt here.>>But this ticket isn’t from the city. It says “Precise ParkLink”, a private parking company paid by the property owner to install and maintain the machines, and patrol the lot.>>Precise ParkLink. I don’t know what is precise.>>It’s not just cities after your parking dollars. Big private companies like Precise ParkLink are cashing in too. Processing over $600 million a year in transactions, it’s one of the largest in Canada. Why $69.75? Precise says that’s the penalty per day if you don’t purchase parking from the meter.>>Current status.>>Val e-mails them a photo of his paid receipt. But his dispute is denied. Why? Because he failed to pay their $10 disputing fee. Nothing on his ticket about a dispute fee. Then Val starts getting letters threatening to send his ticket to collections. [Phone rings]>>Val’s daughter Ralitza helps him out by giving Precise a call.>>Parking relations, how may I help you.>>He paid for a full day, $8, and now we’re getting a $69.75 for a parking — a parking ticket, which is ridiculous.>>Okay. I’m looking at the photos that our patroller took, and there is no receipt on the dash.>>We’ve never received such pictures.>>Okay, if you’d like I can send that to you right now.>>Okay, that would be great. And what will happen if we don’t pay it?>>It will go to a collection agency, and then they have the authority to tow your vehicle.>>Oh, to tow our vehicle. Do they even have authority to tow a car?>>No way.>>Ralitza and Val wait to receive the e-mail with the photos.>>Is that your car?>>Yeah. And ticket is exactly behind this ticket.>>Val says look closely, and you can actually see the edge of his receipt displayed on the dashboard.>>The way they conduct their business, we’re going to give you to a collection’s agency and then tow your car? Well, you want to instill fear. That’s not right. Imagine how many people — like, we’re not the first ones that it’s happened to.>>She’s right. We find complaint after complaint from across the country. Including David Leo in Vancouver who gets a letter out of the blue from Precise demanding $100 for a three year old ticket he says he’s never seen. They threaten to leave a mark on my credit rating unless I settle the ticket with them, he writes. We want to see how fair Precise ParkLink is at giving out tickets, so we stake out some of their lots. These Precise officers seem to be issuing tickets fairly. But at this underground lot in Mississauga, Ontario… as this Precise patrol officer, who we learn is also a supervisor, makes his way around the lot giving out multiple tickets. After he’s gone, we check it out, and see he’s actually tagged two cars with a second ticket. Another Precise patrol officer has already tagged these cars earlier in the day. So now they each show $140. Twice the penalty Precise says they’ll charge per day if you don’t pay. Around the corner, the same Precise supervisor tags Yola Daly’s car.>>It’s not nice.>>An unfair ticket because she did the right thing and registered her plate.>>You come down –>>You come to park and you get a ticket.>>But Yola’s going to fight back.>>So you’re not going to pay it.>>Oh, no, definitely not, definitely not, no, no, no, no,>>We contact Precise ParkLink to talk about these and other unfair tickets they’ve issued, including Val’s, but they decline our invitation to come on camera. So time to get help from parking ticket defender, lawyer John Weingust.>>Nice meeting you.>>It would appear that this is not really a parking ticket, not a valid parking ticket. But what they’re doing is trying to get a judgment against you without even going to court.>>So the parking ticket alone is a judge and jury basically you’re saying.>>That’s right. This is what they do, they fool people by putting in a parking invoice as they call it, okay, and they’re entitled to do whatever they like. However, my respectful opinion is that you can take this ticket and throw it in the garbage.>>How do you guys feel about that?>>I can’t wrap my mind around what they’re doing and so many people are falling for this.>>So unless Precise ParkLink takes these guys to court.>>It wouldn’t pay them to do that, to go after each individual who hasn’t paid their parking fine.>>So all these private parking tickets floating around Canada right now, are any of these private parking tickets enforceable?>>No.>>But can an unpaid private ticket still affect your credit rating? Equifax Canada tells us, it does not accept parking ticket fines from collection agencies. And some good news for Yola. Her ticket’s now been voided. So next time you get an unfair private parking ticket, you’ll know what to do. ♪ ♪>>It’s man versus the machine.>>How long were you stopped for?>>I don’t even think it would have been eight seconds.>>Spy cars coming to a street near you. Got a story you think we should investigate? E-mail us at [email protected]>>The ticket trap takedown continues on your“Marketplace”.♪ ♪>>For the first time ever“Marketplace”is crunching the data. Millions of parking tickets across Canada, when something different about Calgary catches our eye. ♪ ♪>>Could this be the future of parking enforcement in Canada?>>Start.>>Photo enforcement vehicles like this one are now being used to catch parking violators, camera cars driving around taking pictures of every parked vehicle and its licence plate.>>Here’s the start of a zone here.>>ParkPlus patrol officer Josh Saundergard used to only give out tickets on foot.>>Car can go faster than anyone can walk, so it’s much quicker, much more efficient.>>How efficient? According to the data, Calgary’s six camera cars help give out more than 91,000 parking fines a year. There’s no escape. If you haven’t paid for parking in Calgary, they’ll likely know about it.>>Are people a bit more cautious now when they come downtown?>>People are very much aware that we’re here. So there’s fairly good compliance down here.>>At the end of every shift, officers bring their vehicles here, plug them in and all those photos get uploaded into the Park Authority’s database. These workers are checking those photos to see if payment was made. Hundreds of tickets are then printed out every morning, and mailed out to unsuspecting motorists. Nancy Chaisson is a ParkPlus enforcement supervisor.>>What we’re looking for is payment.>>We want to make sure that at the time we scan this vehicle, that there’s payment that’s going to cover that time frame.>>What does it look like in this one?>>This customer has paid from 10:27 until 14:27. We took their photo twice. We took it at 14:43 and we took it again at 15:01. So we allow you time to get to the pay machines or activate your cell phone account.>>However, this one is quite far out. It’s approximately 20 minutes. So at that point we’re going to issue a parking ticket, and move on to the next one.>>Forget the days when you could talk your way out of a ticket, and there’s chatter about that. This man complains he gets a ticket pulling over to make a phone call, car still running. I felt like I was doing the right thing, he writes.>>So we’ve heard stories about people pulling over to make a phone call. Camera car drives by and they get a ticket.>>The bylaw requires once you park your car in a ParkPlus zone or a payment required zone, you are required to make payment.>>It’s as simple as that.>>Simple as that.>>Just like the time Steve pulls over on this downtown street to pick up his wife.>>And as I pulled in, the ParkPlus vehicle, camera vehicle, was right behind me.>>How long were you stopped for?>>I don’t even think it would have been eight seconds. It was a very short period of time.>>A couple of weeks later he gets a $40 ticket in the mail, 75 if he doesn’t pay within 30 days.>>Takes the objectivity out of a parking enforcement agent’s job. They have a lot of discretion built into what they do, and when you’re just taking pictures of people’s licence plates, I don’t feel like you’re ever getting the full story in a one second glimpse. ♪ ♪>>I head to City Hall to put that to Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi.>>The number of people I’ve had call me in six years in this job saying that, you know, I was pulled over or I was dropping someone off and I got a ticket, I can count on one hand. And that’s out of hundreds of thousands of violations.>>But would you honestly expect someone to call the mayor’s office over a…>>Oh they call me about everything. Try being the Mayor. I know about skunks, I know about dog’s poop from a neighbour.>>People stopping to drop someone off, do we really expect them to pay for eight seconds of parking?>>No, of course not. That is the one challenge. But usually those are really easy to contest.>>Not so easy for Steve. When he calls ParkPlus to dispute his ticket…>>They said there’s no difference between stopping and parking in our eyes.>>Steve’s told he can’t contest it, and will have to take it to court. He pays the fine, feeling it’s not worth the cost of missing a day’s work. Nearly $7 million in fines were issued last year, with the help of the camera cars. So now more cities are realizing the benefits. Edmonton, Saskatoon, Whistler, Waterloo, Ontario, and Westmount, Quebec, are all starting to use them too. But while Canada may be expanding, the U.K. has actually banned the use of camera cars for parking enforcement, calling them a clear abuse of CCTV, which should be used to catch criminals and not as a cash cow.>>The U.K. is getting rid of this technology, why is Calgary embracing it?>>It’s a bit odd that they would say, I can take a picture of every single thing you do, I know where you walk, I know where you go, I know where you eat, I know where you use a public washroom, but I don’t know your licence plate number.>>But they use it to catch muggers, you know, terrorism, national security issues. You’re using it to catch people who may not have fed the meter.>>Precisely. That is exactly right, we’re using it to catch people who didn’t feed the meter.>>This is more than just compliance. It’s also a business model, isn’t it?>>Well, you know, the selling it is absolutely a business model and I would love to be able to make some real revenue off of licensing this into new cities in China, for example. In terms of the actual tickets, I much prefer to get the money from people paying for the parking.>>Are municipalities like Calgary addicted to this revenue though?>>We’re not addicted to it, but it is a helpful way of keeping property taxes down. It cements Calgary’s reputation as an innovative city, a city of high technology and is a city that is focused on citizen services and frankly that is the incredibly positive feedback I’ve gotten from it everywhere we’ve tested it.>>And possibly a city where you can’t get away without paying for parking.>>You can still do it, but I would tell you that is a hard game to play.>>Steve doesn’t think he’s lost just yet. Now when he needs just to pull over for a minute or two, he’s going low tech to avoid a high tech ticket trap. Next week on“Marketplace”,are you ready for this trip?>>Never would have imagined that I would be smoking marijuana on national TV.>>Not your dad’s pot.>>The stuff that we’re using today which is readily available and used by many people.>>Is much stronger.>>We’re about to legalize a substance that we just do not have enough data on.>>What’s in today’s super weed?>>After smoking that kind of marijuana, the psychosis would come on immediately. ♪ ♪

100 Replies to “The worst place to park in Canada: Parking ticket traps, unfair tickets (CBC Marketplace)”

  1. Remember kids text and drive 😀 where you dont get a ticket lol if you park somewhere block your plate where they cant see :3 they wont get out lol

  2. I toss my tickets in the garbage. When I get 3-5 and I am on a tow list, I go spend $20 on new plates! 😬

  3. 6:54, the parking ticket mafia boss is like him entering a house thinking he's going to meet a teen girl, but then Chris Hansen come out! Stuttering with a limp noodle!

  4. Parking scams , pirate tow trucks , fly by night insurance brokers – been a victim of all , and lost on every occasion . The worst was the insurance as I lost my motorcycle , it was towed by a pirate truck , impounded at a body shop and I still get hassled about it . A pirate truck towed my car off a highway , damaged my car and gave me a 1200 towing fee . List goes on and on to the point I prefer to drive scrap vehicles and forego insurance . Go ahead and seize it as I have extras.

  5. I think its very simple get the public all together and take all those signs down. Last I heard the city work for the people and the people paid for those signs. its sad that the governments in 1st world countries are starting to think they are private entities and use their position to ensure better pay and retirements for themselves.

  6. What bothers me about this is that they still claim they don't have the money to afford doing things for the country… so annoying, like what are they wasting the budget on?

  7. Haha..this reminds me of Cape town South Africa .. they charged me cos of a sign wayyy down the street..couldn't even read the darn thing from where I was parked. Oh..and then there is stopping to close too a stop line. I didn't stop on the line..but apparently I was too close to the line. 😆

  8. Parking at Park Link, you need to use your cell phone and take a picture of your receipt on your dashboard. And when you come back to your car and there is a parking ticket, get a picture at a angle that shows both. And you will have a date and time on each picture.

  9. these Canadians have something to learn from the Amsterdam parking authorities.
    They've taken the scam to the next level: wait until a street is full of cars, and only then put up the no-parking signs and immediately fine and clamp all the cars.
    Then a few hours later when the cars are gone, remove the signs.
    Rinse and repeat.

  10. Man in NZ I've been robbed once in terms of Parking. I was paying for a fine, while I was paying for that fine they hit me with another TICKET (both tickets within 20 minutes) wtf I contested it and got it cleared.


  12. Yo, that Dude, and his Daughter fighting the ticket. That Girl may seem like a nerdy chick, but she’s really a Freak. St8 P.Star⭐️. 😝

  13. Parking tickets are nothing but a scam! Where does all that money go every year? Bet most of it gets lost some how.

  14. I don't like the idea of the camera cars driving around with cameras on them. its a bad look. its a bad feeling. Obviously even ppl in England thought this is too far.

  15. Who Knew Canadians could be the biggest scumbags. Sickens me how these cash grab traps are in place to
    Make money off of unsuspecting people. Really Canada Seriously?
    You can do better then that.
    Don’t turn out to be like the USA.

  16. Marketplace should investigate CBC for conflict of interest and election interference in receiving money from Trudeau to push left-wing narratives and favourable coverage of the Liberal government.

  17. I live in Brighton UK 🇬🇧 where we have more tickets issued other than outside Westminster, London.
    Our small city is 250k ish, more than England's second largest city Birmingham. Probably 3-4 million people. I do not. Ind traffic wardens doing their jobs by ticketing obstructions or real problem parking, that stops cars and or emergency 🚨 vehicles. They even have to carry spit kits for DNA, body cams for all the abuse they get.

    Good luck but you will always struggle to beat the "system &or government"
    Saying that I've got out of paying 7 out of 8 tickets, always appeal.

  18. It's corruption through and through. I remember a few years ago parking at the subway station in Toronto and I paid for full day parking, placing my receipt on my dashboard as always. When I got back to my truck I found I had a parking ticket under my windshield wiper, in full view of my parking receipt on the dash board. I took it to court with my parking receipt, to which the parking enforcement officer claimed there was no receipt on my dash board, even though it was in full view right by where he left the parking ticket. He lied, but the judge believed him and I had to pay. So I was forced to pay a ticket I never should have gotten along with missing time from work to go fight it in court. Pure corruption of the legal system because any unpaid fines on your record will result in one not being able to renew their license permit. Shameful.

  19. Definitely need some Americans…I'll be damned if I will pay $35 for a crosswalk, that doesn't exist…I will pay the ticket, but you make damn sure there is a "crosswalk", when I get finished!


  21. There are two great products to handle those camera cars. One is made my Krylon, and the other is made by Louisville Slugger.

  22. In Boston, they will ticket UPS and FedEx trucks while they are delivering Bullets and everything the city needs.
    It is crazy, the worst is they will tow the trucks as well.

    it is a cash grab since commercial vehicles should be allowed to park without being ticketed, they factor the cost of tickets into the cost of doing business.

  23. They know you wont lose a days pay to go fight a $30 parking ticket. I was even told that by Toronto city parking enforcement when i contacted them.

  24. 18:15 How about you park are about to go make a payment however havent — didn't she say she needs "two" pictures ? to insure that ? so whenever its convenient only 1 picture needed?

  25. #2 … any intersection of two STREETS have unmarked crosswalks. Don’t have to be painted on the road!! Not one street intersection…. must be careful.

  26. You know. In the United States they paint the curbs yellow where there are fire hydrants so you don't park there accidentally because we ACTUALLY care about blocking fire hydrants, not because we want to catch people parking next to them.

  27. I tried to do the sticker thing don't do it they want to charge you an arm and a leg to ship it to you and I went through so many questions it was ridiculous and wasn't worth my time and the pay isn't that good I heard and they don't pay for your gas

  28. Yep it's a cash cow that's how the city gets away with it they strategically place those signs and post close together for a reason and the reason is and brings money in

  29. There is a Older lady in San Francisco. Who makes $1.00.000 a year. ! They called her the "Eagle eye". She has a team . She watches the meters from roofs of buildings

  30. 8 Seconds equals $40 ticket that's crazy it's all about Revenue and the more of these people Right tickets they get a bonus plus salary

  31. Do you actually have to pay these tickets? In Norway you could complain, and the ticket would be dismissed immediately for unclear marking.

  32. Step one: get a bunch of tickets from private agencies
    Step two: call them and start laughing that you’re not gonna pay that

  33. U cant get more then 1 ticket at The same place or so i've heard.
    100% that If one of their employees is parked wrong they Will let it slip

  34. Sadly, Parking Fines, etc. are a "necessary" cash grab for basically bankrupt jurisdictions Coast to Coast – and this cash flow is more than critical to them,…
    Without this Shady Shite they'd be in a much deeper hole – and there's your "Government" Canada. Bend over compliant polite Canadians, pay the Fine and humm the National Anthem,…

  35. 247 tickets @ hour ? Everyone should go to court … clog up the system. It won't take a week before something happens. If people leave their cars at home, the city will feel it in less than a month.

  36. Ok well here’s an idea you don’t have to pay private property tickets if you get a ticket by a government on public property then you need to pay
    Or at least in America

  37. I got one of those "Precise Parklink" tickets in London, Ont.
    I never paid it. $82 tho. I also paid for the day. Parked exclusively on their lot as it said it was good in any precise lot. Went in for 20 minutes. Came back to a ticket. We have a photo of the ticket time being paid for WAY before the time of the ticket. We literally had the parking stub stuck to the window and dash. They never harassed me thankfully. That was over 3 yrs ago. I havent moved. I never got a thing in the mail or called.

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