Slammed with series of parking tickets: why Saskatoon resident is speaking up

Slammed with series of parking tickets: why Saskatoon resident is speaking up
Man gets string of overnight parking tickets, city councilor calls it a money-grab
Micheal Groulx, of Saskatoon, is speaking out after he says he was unfairly slammed with a number of parking tickets in the middle of the night.

A Saskatoon resident is speaking out after he says he was slammed with a number of parking tickets in the middle of the night without warning for infractions that are typically complaint-driven.

“I never got a warning over it, that was the issue,” Micheal Groulx, who runs a construction company, said.

“If they would have just told me I can’t park them out on the road, I would have just found a convenient spot to park them.”

The incident that has left Groulx shaking his head goes back to Sept. 12. After he repaved his driveway and says he got more than he bargained for – three parking tickets totalling $90 because his construction trailers were parked on a residential street outside his home.

Groulx said he checked in advance with all the neighbours to see if the trailers would be an inconvenience and they all said it was OK. He woke up the next morning for work to find tickets issued in a matter of three minutes in the middle of the night.

“This is not the first time, a couple months ago I caught a guy around here at four o’clock in the morning.”

Micheal Groulx, of Saskatoon, is speaking out after he says he was unfairly slammed with a number of parking tickets in the middle of the night.

Groulx said he went to city hall but had no luck in having the tickets ripped up after feeling ripped off. He said the tickets clearly weren’t complaint-driven and it feels like the commissionaire was roaming around on the roadways looking for violations to crack down on.

“I’m opposed to the fact that we may have had a commissionaire out there for number of months looking specifically for infractions on the bylaw with respect to length of vehicles that are parked in residential streets – we have not done that historically,” Ward 1 city coun. Darren Hill said.

On top of all this, Groulx said he was told specifically by a city inspector that he couldn’t use the driveway while it and the sidewalk dried over the course of the week.

“I’m surprised that commissionaire is there and see that this construction is happening and tickets anyway,” Hill added.

Hill said while there is a commissionaire that can issue tickets overnight, the type of infractions would be instances where someone has parked in an emergency bay blocking paramedics from accessing where they need to go.

Hill also noted that this case isn’t isolated, at least seven city councillors have received complaints about these sorts of ticket since the spring.

He said he will be filing a formal request to parking officials to get his hands on the number tickets that have been issued since January, what areas of the city they were issued in, what time of day and who has been issuing these types of tickets.

The headache these tickets have caused is big business, Hill says the loss in productivity for city workers is estimated to be in the hundred of hours.

A rash of parking tickets handed out overnight Wednesday has a Saskatoon business owner feeling frustrated.

Michael Groulx runs a construction company in Saskatoon. You can find him out and about managing one of his many properties.

While parking tickets usually come as no surprise, Groulx was issued three tickets at 2:10 a.m., 2:12 a.m., and 2:13 a.m.

I woke up to find three tickets stuck to the front of my trailer. I parked the last trailer at 9 at night, he told CTV News on Thursday.

Last month, his driveway and sidewalk were getting repaved. He says the city told him not to park there for at least a week.

Coun. Darren Hill said the practice of overnight parking tickets looks like a "money-grab."

This is the first Ive ever heard of that late night commissionaire or parking enforcement unit actually going out and looking for infractions in residential neighborhoods, Hill said.

He says the practice is inconsistent and enforcement is typically complaint-driven, which means a ticket is issued after someone complains.

It may be as simple as a miscommunication with the parking branch, or an overzealous person given a directive thinking we need to address this concern and this is the way to do it, he said.

Hill plans on taking a deeper look into the issue. He says hes requested numbers of how many similar tickets have been issued since Jan. 1, the area of the fines, and which commissionaire signed them.

A rash of parking tickets handed out overnight Wednesday has a Saskatoon business owner feeling frustrated.