January 2020
City of Toronto to Collect 20 Year Old Traffic Fines in New Debt Collection Strategy

2020-01-29 10:42:37 AM

The City of Toronto’s Council has approved a suggestion from staff to hire two collection agencies that specialize in locating debtors with traffic fines that are more than 20 years old. City officials say that such fines could total more than $100 million.

This debt collection strategy stems from a 2018 city auditor’s report where the city was tasked with collecting fines levied under the Provincial Offences Act since 2002. At the time of the report, there were about $500 million in unpaid fines.

When the City approved hiring more collection agencies, a special category called third-assignment accounts was added to included tracking down fines that have gone unpaid for more than 20 years.

Critics to this strategy argue that those affected no longer have the paperwork or evidence to prove their innocence if they choose to fight the ticket. Councilor Jim Karygiannis, the vice chair of the government and licensing committee, is considering drafting a motion to set time limits on fine collection.

Under the Provincial Offences Act, there is no statute of limitations.

For years, AMCTO has been advocating to the provincial government to reform the Act to provide Ontario’s local governments with effective collection tools to collect the large sum of unpaid fines. Providing the necessary tools will allow municipalities to address a growing list of fiscal challenges.

For more information, please see below:

CBC News: City cracking down on decades-old traffic fines, hoping to collect more than $100M

Provincial Offences Act

AMCTO: 2019 Pre-Budget Submission


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