Francois Gendron learned the hard way that it’s against the law to sit on the grass in a public park in the downtown Ville Marie borough of Montreal. On Monday he sat beneath a tree in Serge Garant Park behind the Beaudry metro and the act earned him a $147 fine.
Police initially approached him and asked him politely to move. “They told me we do not have the right to sit on the grass in Montreal parks,” he said. “I accepted to move but 10 minutes later the police left so I returned because I wasn’t comfortable in the sunshine."
Officers saw him and slapped Gendron with a a ticket for $100 plus $47 in fees under a borough by-law. Police told Gendron that they give tickets to young homeless people, so to be fair they have to ticket everyone. “I think that’s very poor judgment,” said Gendron, who promised to challenge the fine.
The local police commander explained that the grass was recently replanted and that sitting on it has proven damaging. “We're just advising the people not to stay on the grass and just to sit down on the cement border,” said Vincent Richer Commander of Station 22. Police always warn people to stay off the grass and most simply comply, he noted.
With news video.