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6/18/2005
Canada: Judge Rules Speed Camera Tickets Must be Bilingual
A Manitoba, Canada provincial court judge has ruled that speed camera tickets in designated Winnipeg areas must be completely bilingual.

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A Manitoba, Canada provincial court judge has ruled that speed camera tickets in designated Winnipeg areas must have all details written in both of the city's official languages, English and French. The judge's fifty-page ruling -- written in French -- threw out six citations because key details such as time and place only appeared in English. The judge said that the city's practice gave French a "secondary status."

Attorney Renald Remillard initiated this challenge to the photo radar tickets in March. Remillard represents individuals living in the Riel community which comprises more than 20 percent of the city's population and is classified as a designated area. According to the City of Winnipeg Charter Act, "All notices, statements of account, certificates, demands in writing and other documents sent or given by the city to persons resident in the designated area shall be in both official languages."

The city intends to appeal the decision.

Article Excerpt:
"I'm not exactly sure why this little piece was missed," [Coun. Gord Steeves] Steeves added. "The Crown attorney's position was that they were confident they were going to win this." [Defendant Marc] Boily said the case proves the city would rather go to court than offer fully bilingual services and "has a total lack of respect for francophone rights."
Source: Traffic tix trashed (Winnipeg Sun (Canada), 6/18/2005)

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