Bylaw fines more than quadruple in St. Catharines since 2018


Published September 26, 2023 at 9:53 am

St. Catharines city council learned last night (Sept. 25) that bylaw revenues jumped from $91,000 to $432,000 from 2018 to 2023 – and this year is only two-thirds done.

By shifting the penalty system for unpaid bylaw fines from the provincial court to the city, St. Catharines now has the option to simply tack the unpaid fines, which increase the longer they’re ignored, onto the property tax bill of residents.

A city report noted that it turned out it takes less staff time to simply enforce bylaw penalties on the city’s end, especially with the property tax option, because unpaid fine notices can simply be mailed or posted on the front door of a property, rather than go through a separate system (provincial court) that is outside the city’s control.

Among the more common bylaws infractions in St. Catharines are: illegal parking (by far, the biggest) followed by not following property standards (parking or unsightly on your front lawn, etc.) improper waste disposal, unsafe pool enclosures or fencing, excessive weeds and tall grass, snow removal (mostly not removing snow from your sidewalk), graffiti, excessive noise, and backyard and chiminea fires.

Last night, council added a bylaw forbidding Graphic Imagery Delivery because residents were complaining because pro-lifers are dropping flyers in their mailboxes with dead fetus imagery.

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