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HRM By-Law Penalties Not Increased

(Friday, March 19/2004)-- Contrary to a front page article entitled "Fine Print....City Quietly Hikes Penalties, Changes Rules," in today's edition of The Daily News, fines for Halifax Regional Municipality by-laws have not been increased.

The article read "The Halifax Regional Municipality quietly simplified the way it hands out fines this month, and increased the penalties for many of 124 different offences."

In fact, and for the record:

  • The actual fine amount for by-law infractions has not increased.
  • Halifax Regional Council approved a motion at a public meeting last year to ask the Government of Nova Scotia for permission to administer HRM by-law violations through Summary Offence Tickets (SOT).
  • The Province approved that request this week to allow HRM to issue SOTs for municipal by-law infractions, rather than having to take violators to court for prosecution.
  • SOTs are governed by the Summary Proceedings Act, which mandates that there is an automatic $100.00 court cost and a victim fine surcharge(VFS) of 15 % imposed on each municipal offence issued on a SOT. The Court costs and the VFS go to the Province.
  • A comparison would be a SOT written for a provincial Motor Vehicle Act charge, such as speeding under Section 106A(b). The fine is $100.00. However, there is a $100.00 court cost imposed, plus a 15% VFS, for a total of $215.00. Now, the same applies for HRM by-laws, such as spraying pesticides, etc.
  • After a SOT is issued, an accused may attend his/her arraignment date, which is provided on the front of the ticket, and enter a plea of guilty/not guilty and obtain a date for trial. If the accused does not attend court, he/she will be automatically convicted in absentia.


John O'Brien
Corporate Communications Officer
(902) 490-6531

Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.