June 14th, 2024

Tickets reinstated against LOPS pop-up tent organizer

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 1, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

City bylaw tickets issued against a Lethbridge man for holding activities on city property without permits, and which were later dismissed in court, have been reinstated.
The city successfully appealed a judge’s decision from last year, when 17 bylaw tickets against Timothy Michael Slaney were dismissed. Judge Kristen Ailsby granted a defence request in April for dismissal, after lawyers prosecuting the case for the city failed to show up for court.
“We indicated on record that, to the best of our knowledge, there was never any communication from anyone at Reynolds, Mirth, Richards and Farmer,” Miranda Hlady told the Herald following the April hearing. “They certainly did not appear on March 26 or April 9.”
However, last week Anthony Purgas from the Edmonton law firm appealed the judge’s decision, and said defence failed to notify prosecution of its intention to seek dismissal. Although lawyer Amy Matychuk maintained during the appeal hearing that defence was not required to notify the Crown, the judge disagreed, and said notification is required under the Provincial Court Act.
The matter is expected to return to provincial court for pleas.
The tickets allege Slaney erected a tent and held activities on city property without the required permits.The tickets were issued after the former supervised consumption site was shut down in 2020, and volunteers with the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society began erecting an unsanctioned overdose prevention pop-up tent in the downtown area.
In a statement sent to the Lethbridge Courthouse following the dismissal of the tickets, the Edmonton law firm said it believes the dismissal was done in error, and asked that the tickets and summons be re-issued to Slaney.
The statement said the law office was not notified of the court date in April, and defence failed to inform the office that it would be seeking dismissal of the tickets for want of prosecution. The statement also acknowledges that no one from the law office attended the court hearing March 26, but only because the city’s representative understood the matter was to be adjourned while defence was preparing a Constitutional challenge.

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QUESTION: Why are LETHBRIDGE City By-Law tickets being farmed out to an EDMONTON Law firm? We have a City Solicitors Office do we not ? What purpose do they serve? We have local law firms staffed by Lawyers resident in Lethbridge do we not ? Is the City position that we have no local talent capable to handle the rigors of a By-law prosecution?