A CBC News investigation found Canadian provinces and territories are owed more than $ 1.3 billion in unpaid fines for everything from parking tickets to tax violations to environmental infractions, with some dating back decades.
More than years after a propane explosion in Toronto killed two people, leveled large parts of a neighborhood and sent thousands running from their homes in fear, those convicted on regulatory charges have yet to pay more than $ 5 million in fines imposed by an Ontario court.
They are among the hundreds of unpaid fines worth more than $ 1.3 billion that provincial and territorial governments across Canada are owed but have failed to collect. Some of them date back decades.
“With no statute of limitations on provincial offenses fines, some of these fines go back to the ’30), “said Susan Garossino, director of court services for the City of Toronto, which has more than $ 550 million in unpaid fines on its books.
“Our earliest fine, I think, might even be from the ‘ “
A CBC News investigation conducted over the past five months found the vast majority of the more than $ 1.3 billion owed across Canada is small fines, with a number of notable repeat offenders.
The fines relate to everything from environmental violations to tax infractions and unpaid parking tickets.
CBC News asked justice departments in every province and territory for records of unpaid fines, and every one except Alberta provided some information – not the names of the entities in default but, usually, the amount of the fine and the date it was levied. (Some additional data was provided by municipalities and other provincial agencies.)
Some jurisdictions provided data on all unpaid fines; others only on certain violations, so the data gives only a partial picture of the total amount owed across the country.
Someone owes Regina more than $ 70, for parking tickets
Someone in Regina, for instance, owes more than $ 55, 10 in parking tickets accumulated over just four years, from 2006 to 2018.
There are 30 individuals in Regina who together owe the city $ 323, in a parking fines dating as far back as January 642 .