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万锦市新的“公共场合行为规定”后患无穷
Markham's new Public Nuisances By-law is open to abuse




2018年5月29日,万锦市议会通过了“公共场合行为规定(2018-55)”。该规定是对市府条例第14条的补充。条例对公共场合的不当行为,拥有第二套房屋单元,短期房屋租赁(Airbnbs)和拥有多个房间的出租房做了相关定义和规定。这一规定获得通过,只有万锦市第3选区的议员Karen Rea和约克区议员Nirmala Armstrong对这一补充规定投了反对票。

On May 29, 2018 Markham City Council passed a “Public Nuisance By-law (2018-55)” as part of an omnibus 14 section by-law that included provisions on nuisances, secondary suites, short-term rentals (Airbnbs) and rooming houses. The package passed with the only oppositions coming from Ward#3 Councillor Karen Rea and Regional Councillor Nirmala Armstrong.

新规定按理一通过就该生效执行。但到目前为止,人们无法在市政府的网站上找到这些规定。对人们在公共场行为制定规则是为了防止吵闹影响邻里,以及短期房屋出租所带来的问题。

The By-law came into force and effect once it was passed but one would have trouble locating it on the City's web site even as of now. The nuisance by-law was created to support the enforcement of noise control and other issues arising from a few short-term rental incidents.


 
新补充规定详细叙述了公共场合的不当行为都有哪些,市政府如何执行规定和如何处罚违规者。许多居民发现,补充规定中存在定义模糊,并且很容易被人找借口滥用。

Within the by-law, definition of nuisances, enforcement of control by City Officials using Work Orders, and collection of penalties are stipulated. Many residents found the words in this by-law to be ambiguous and subject to abuse by those who want to take advantage of it.
 
比方说,“公共场合的不当行为”的定义非常广。新规定是这样来解释“公共场合的不当行为”的:
To start with, the definition of “Public Nuisance” under by-law 2018-55 is all encompassing. It is defined as :

“公共场合的不当行为”是指那些在万锦市影响他人,或导致周围环境出现安全问题,或影响他人的福祉或财产享受的行为。

Any activity on Property within the municipality which results in any conduct that is likely to be unwanted or disturbing to persons, or that may cause an unsafe environment, or affect the well-being of persons or the enjoyment of Property.


 
新规定明确了那些包括在公共场合酗酒,谩骂别人,打架,破坏他人财产、涂鸦,乱停车,在公共场所大小便,非法露天焚烧,非法放烟火和乱扔垃圾为不当行为。大多数这些行为通常由警方处理!问题是,这是否意味着万锦市要重复执法?

A list of activities is identified which include public drunkenness, use of abusive language, fights, vandalism and graffiti painting, improper parking, public urination and defecation, unlawful open burning, unlawful discharge of fireworks, and littering. Most of these activities are normally handled by the police! Does that mean the City is going to add another layer of law enforcement to the system?

虽然上述不当行为的定义均为大白话,大多数居民都不会搞错,但有些定义的用词,比如不当行为包括“没事找事或让人不安”的定义很容易让有些“人”找借口而滥用这一新规定。

While the above activities are described in general terms and easily understood by most residents, there are some more activities specially tied to the wording “likely to be unwanted by or disturbing to persons”. This association of the activities to “persons” open up all kinds of wild possibilities for abuses.


 
按照定义,以上所说的“人”包括个人,协会,组织,合伙企业,公司,不仅包括业主,而且还包括与万锦市内任何一个地方有关联的人。换句话说,人们可以因为他人的行为“冒犯”了他们而要求市府惩罚这些人,而被投诉的人事实上根本就没有违法。让我们看看下面这些新规定中的不当行为:

The definition of “Persons” above covers an individual, association, organization, partnership, corporation, and includes not just the owners but all other stakeholders of the Property. In other words, neighbours can make a determination that the activities are “offensive” to them and they may not even necessarily be a law-breaking event. Let us look at these activities:“

1)不合理或过度的声音或噪音,包括但不限于音乐。规定没有提及一天24小时中什么时候不能有这些噪音或如何测量噪音的高低。只要你的邻居觉得你在打扰他/她,他们就可以向市府投诉,并让市府对你罚款。不仅如此,警察还可以进入您的物业来调查投诉。

1) Sound or noise that is unreasonable or excessive, including but not limited to loud music. There are no references to hours of the day or measurable noise levels. As long as your neighbour feels that you are disturbing him/her, the by-law officer can be called in to charge you with a fine. Not only that, the officer can enter onto your property for investigation purposes.


 
2)东游西逛!这显然不是指某人闯到你的地界,但如果人们在你的视线内的人行道上走来走去,你或你的邻居就可以打电话找市府投诉。

2)  Loitering! Obviously not on someone's property but if people are walking up and down the sidewalk within your sight, you or your neighbour can now call in the by-law officer.

3)烟雾过量。按照规定,你虽然可以在你后院烧烤,但如果烧烤的香味或烟雾漂流到邻居的地界,并且他们不喜欢这种香味或烟雾让他们不安,你就会遇到麻烦。当大麻在10月份合法化后,香烟或大麻的味道也会让你遇到麻烦。

3) Any smoke that is excessive. In this scenario, it can be you have a barbecue in your backyard and the nice aroma and smoke drifting onto your neighbour's property are unwanted and disturbing to them. It can also be smoke and smell from the cigarettes or marijuana when their smoking becomes legal in October.


 
4)如果你所搞的社交活动在新规定里没有定义,你也会惹上麻烦。比如,你在自家后院搞一个带有宗教色彩的婚礼,但你的邻居因为他们的宗教信仰或性别偏好而觉得你的活动让他们“不安”,理论上他们就可以打电话投诉,让市府停止你“干扰”他们,并驱逐所有参加婚礼的人。

4) Any social gathering that may or may not result in any activities identified under the by-law. Let’s say that you have a religious wedding reception in your backyard and your neighbours find that “disturbing” due to their religion affiliations or gender preference, they can theoretically call the by-law officer to discontinue the “nuisance” and have all those who are not residing on the property to leave.
 
新条例要么故意留给人们想象空间,要么故意让执法人员随意解释。无论是哪种,它都会引起人们们上法庭挑战这些新规定。这一新规定如此这么草草通过,显示我们必须好好看管那些市府的行政官僚们,同时把那些更关心万锦市未来的议员们选进市议会。

The language within this by-law is either deliberately left to the imagination or purposely authored to allow for extreme interpretations by the users. Either way, it is opening up itself to challenges in court. How this got passed by City Council show us the need to reign in the city staff and have a more attentive slate of Councillors to run this City.

我们很快就有机会改变万锦市市议会的成员。请参加2018年10月22日的市政选举投票!
We have a chance to effect the change of Council members soon. On October 22, 2018 make sure you participate in the voting for the municipal elections!


 

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