The City of Yellowknife is planning to change the way parking laws are enforced saying it will streamline the dispute process and free up municipal, police and court resources.
Currently, if someone wants to appeal a parking fine in Yellowknife, they have to go to territorial court.
“It kind of bogs down the criminal system, the court system. It’s slow and cumbersome for the public and the city as well,” Kerry Thistle, the city’s director of economic development and strategy, told Cabin Radio.
The city now wants to change to what’s known as an administrative penalty system where instead of a parking ticket, bylaw officers will issue a penalty notice and any disputes will be dealt with at city hall.
Thistle said that process will be faster, less formal and make it easier to deal with any issues than going through court. She added it will also mean RCMP officers no longer have to issue court summons for unpaid parking tickets, giving them more time to focus on community policing priorities.
“It should be a win-win for everybody,” she said.
The City of Yellowknife has been lobbying the territorial government since 2007 to make legislative changes that would allow it to transition to an administrative penalty system.
The NWT government updated the Summary Convictions and Procedures Act, which applies to municipal parking bylaws, in 2018.
The city is now in the process of drafting new bylaws required to transition to a new system. Thistle said the city hopes to implement the program later this year.