$8.2M of unpaid Winnipeg parking tickets sent to collection agency
The City of Winnipeg is cracking down on unpaid parking tickets.
It says $8.2 million worth of unpaid parking fines is now eligible for collection. Notices have been sent in the mail by a collection agency, Gatestone & Co Inc., to collect the unpaid tickets issued by the City of Winnipeg.
Chris Carroll got a notice in the mail Friday—which he says was the first time he learnt he got a ticket.
"I would have expected to have seen something before a collections letter," Carroll said. "I wasn't totally surprised, I mean I do run a business. I don't use street parking very often in my business but it's plausible I had a ticket."
He says if he saw it on his windshield, he would have paid it. Now, that $70 fee has gone to a collection agency.
Carroll said he doesn't know if he'll pay the notice, saying he needs proof.
"I'm going to be asking for evidence before I pay anything."
If the ticket isn't paid—the city could take action.
"In accordance with Manitoba legislation, the City is able to apply several different types of debt collection tools, including vehicle liens and seizures, and the use of a third-party collection agent," a spokesperson from the City said in a statement.
An MPI spokesperson says a parking ticket would not automatically affect a driver's licence or insurance, but there is legislation that could change that. The Provincial Offences Act would let the Province of Manitoba, or a municipality, get a court judgment against someone with unpaid fines. That judgment would prevent the driver from renewing their licence.
The spokesperson says if that happens, MPI would not be able to accept insurance premium payments.
"There is no set timeline for the mass mailing of letters from the City’s collection agency," a spokesperson for the City of Winnipeg said. "Accounts may be forwarded to the collection agency at any point after the period when the ticket is eligible for appeal has expired."
CTV News asked the city how many tickets are unpaid, and how much the collection agency services will cost. It says it is looking into this, but was unable to provide an answer by Monday evening.
In 2020, the City of Winnipeg put out a bid, looking for a collection agency to collect unpaid Winnipeg Parking Authority notices. At the time of the notice, there were nearly 42,800 unpaid penalty notices, including parking citations and non-parking penalties, totalling $5,758,787. It included tickets from 2020 or older.
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