Civil Liberties group seeks amnesty for bylaw tickets issued during COVID-19
I agree with their argument up to a point. When they say that we can’t police our way out of a pandemic, they’re not wrong. At least not entirely. What they should be saying is that we shouldn’t be trying to zero tolerance our way out of a pandemic. Even now there is still such a thing as overreaching and being too heavy-handed. When you reach that point, and one could argue that when you hand a kid an $800 ticket for playing basketball alone that that point has been reached, you risk undoing all of the good work that’s being done to stamp this thing out. The last thing we need is for people to start turning against our health officials and unusually sensible politicians and the seemingly sound advice they’ve been giving us.
But having said that, we need to be doing some policing. Maybe not as much as we appear to be doing, but definitely some. Say all you want about treating people like adults, but that doesn’t always work. There are plenty of thickheaded adults out there who think that the rules don’t apply to them, and they need to learn that their rights to freedom of movement don’t trump everyone else’s right not to die of Coronavirus because they want to go have a picnic. Often the best way to teach that lesson is by hitting them in the pocketbook. If you’re concerned about blowing your entire CERB payment on fines in a case like that, maybe don’t be an idiot.
We’re all in a crazy time of ever-changing normalcy here, but there’s a middle ground to be found somewhere. Enforcement could maybe warn a little more, and some of us could push the boundaries a little less. No matter which side we’re on, we’re all having to adjust. Let’s try to be patient with each other within reason while we figure it out.
And by all means, appeal those tickets if you don’t think they’re deserved. Nothing in the law says you can’t do that, which is in itself evidence that maybe we’re not in a total human rights crisis just yet.