Fines for teens playing soccer
An innocent pick-up game of soccer by some teens in Laval has resulted in $68 tickets.
Lise Galipeau said a ticket given to her 15-year-old Kimberly Buonanno is a little excessive for jumping a fence and playing soccer with her friends in the middle of the afternoon two weeks ago, outside of authorized hours.
"I still find it ridiculous that the beautiful park that we have, that the kids can't play on it. It's open only from 4:30 to 5:30 (for the general public and non-league play)," Galipeau told CJAD News.
"Our taxes have paid for this field and honestly, it's usually reserved for teens that play more competition. My daughter plays soccer but it's more for fun, it's still a league."
Laval police spokesman Franco Di Genova said patrols have been stepped up lately because of vandalism and loitering.
"When you see that the problem is not being solved, at one point you have to act," Di Genova said, adding they don't keep a record of who's been warned. This was the first time Galipeau's daughter broke the park rules.
Di Genova said they've received six complaints to date, including about noisy soccer players. Their bike patrol has given out nearly 40 warnings and 26 tickets since May, including the 12 tickets handed out to Galipeau's daughter and her friends. As for what the rest of the tickets were for, Di Genova said they couldn't break it down.
In a statement, the city of Laval argues that rules are rules, adding they want to protect the new, expensive synthetic turf and that if pick up games are in demand, they may consider extending the summer hours and that current requests can be made through the Bureau municipal lavallois.
David De Cotis, opposition councillor for the Mouvement lavallois said it's a ridiculous situation that could be solved by extending the summer hours and hiring summer students to monitor soccer games for pick-up players.
"This should not be a request to the Bureau municipal lavallois. This should be the city being proactive, being responsible to re-look at the regulation, change the regulation," De Cotis said.
He said he'll be presenting to council a petition to extend the hours that the kids have been circulating and which has garnered over 150 signatures so far.
Galipeau said her daughter shouldn't have jumped the fence but a warning would have been enough.
"I understand that if it's at night when the park is closed late but what vandalism can they do when they play soccer?"