Parking ticket had man scratching head

Nobody likes to get a parking ticket, particularly when you receive one in the mail from a city you’ve never even been to in your life.
Barwick resident Charles Harrison, 67, got a surprise recently when he opened his mailbox and found a notice of impending conviction from Markham, Ont., near Toronto.
“I have no idea how I got it. I tried to call Markham collect but they don’t accept the charges,” he noted at the time. “It’s a $40 ticket. Maybe I’d better pay it.”
What was most irksome was that Harrison’s car had been parked in his garage in Barwick at the time of the offence, not obstructing a sidewalk in Markham.
He spoke to Donna Anderson at the Provincial Offences office in Fort Frances to see if she could help. “She said, ‘There’s nothing you can do about it,’” recalled Harrison.
Anderson’s hands were tied.
“We don’t have access to other municipalities’ parking tickets,” she noted. “Each municipality runs its own system. Each municipality operates their parking a bit differently.
“If I had access to the system, I could have got information for him. I could go in and look it up but I couldn’t make an adjustment, I couldn’t change it,” she explained.
Harrison also contacted the Rainy River and Fort Frances OPP—again to no avail.
Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis agreed each municipality has its own system. “It’s not our ticket, it’s not our jurisdiction. It’s the jurisdiction [of the municipality] where it happens,” he noted.
Still getting nowhere, Harrison said he was thinking of phoning NDP leader and local MPP Howard Hampton for help. Instead, a call from the Fort Frances Times to Markham with his licence plate number resulted in the ticket being cancelled.
“There was a discrepancy, it must be a mistake,” a spokesperson for the Markham Parking Control said last week.
As soon as Harrison’s information appeared on the computer screen, Parking Control could tell a mistake had been made in writing the licence plate number down.
Though still scratching his head over how all this could have happened, Harrison is relieved the issue has been resolved—and he can keep the $40 in his own pocket.
“Thanks, that’s good, that’s nice,” he said when told by the Times that the ticket had been cancelled.