This was given to my friend. Was it given to James Gillis? If not, why not? If it was , why is it seemingly not being enforced?
Zarvan Riahi also fined another friend. They got a phone call from James Gillis is which Gillis said that unless they used him to put up their flyers they would get a fine. They stuck with me. Riahi fined them. Sherlock Holmes, “If you eliminate all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is most likely the truth.” It is a sad fucking truth.
People have been telling me to talk with a lawyer.
Now is the time.
Last week my printer was fined $490.00 for having a flyer advertising his business posted on a utility pole contrary to the Bylaws of Toronto.
Now posters advertising business have been appearing on the utility poles of this city for a long time. If the people posting the ones I see being put up every week were bring fined I imagine, like my printer, they got a first fine that was a warning shot (he could have been fined $5,000.00 for ten such flyers). If the warning shot did not cause them to stop then heavier fines would be imposed. That is how it generally happens.
The thing is, it is not happening.
Take a look at the attached pictures. They are as clear as it can get about what is and is not allowed and where they are and are not allowed to be posted.
I have no problem with these Bylaws. They are extremely well thought out and eminently fair. My problem is the way they are being imposed which seems to be selectively.
For example poster size is limited to 8 1/2 x 11 inches. I agree with this 100%. While I have used larger formats in the past the space available is limited. The number of people who desire to use that space is unlimited. The 8 1/2 X 11 inch format is one which allows the most people access to the space. Larger size posters take space away from others.
The Bylaws limited one poster for the same or essentially the same subject per kiosk. I thought that meant one on each side. I was informed by a Bylaw Enforcement Officer that it is one poster only. Again, that leaves room for others which is the point so I am happy to comply.
What I am not happy about is that while the Bylaws are being, as I said, enforced against myself and my friends, they appear not to be being enforced against many others.
Let’s take a look at the streets in this series of videos I filmed Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday around Toronto. I filmed on Queen Street West, Adelaide Street, Richmond Street, King Street, in the St. Lawrence Market area, College Street, The Church/Wellesley Village, Yonge Street and Bloor Street. The videos are on my previous post “AN OPEN LETTER TO TRACY COOK” http://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?p=15452 .
Who is Tracy Cook? She is the head of Toronto Municipal Licensing & Standards.
Looking at that footage the only conclusion I can reach following the example of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, who said, “If you eliminate all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is most likely the truth, ” is that MLS and/or its officers are in collusion with the people blatantly week after week, day after day breaking the Bylaws. Why? Because, by this time the offenders would have been hit with not thousands in fines but millions.
How can I reach that conclusion?
Well, posters promoting DR. JAMIE’S BIKE CLINIC appear regularly like clock work on the utility poles and kiosks of this city daily.
Posters promoting DR. JAMIES BIKE CLINIC, a business, have been attached to utility poles around the city for years. Were he being fined the fines would not be in the thousands they would be in hundreds of thousands possibly, over the time period involved, millions. He also promotes his poster business on utility poles.
Dr. Jamie’s Events Postering illegally posts oversize posters for itself and for others. This poster is 11 x 17 inches. Legal size is 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Business posters are not allowed on utility poles. This one can be seen around the city on utility poles. I have the pictures. Why is MLS allowing this but imposing a $490.00 fine on my friend?
I filed a complaint about Dr. Jamie’s Bike Clinic posters appearing on College Street contrary to the same Bylaw used to fine my friend.
Here is a screenshot of their reply.
Note the date, August 14. Two business days means 2 days will pass before inspection begins. The day after I received this reply almost all the flyers in question disappeared from the utility poles. Did someone at MLS warn the offender? “If you eliminate all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”–Sherlock Holmes.
Note the date, August 14, 2015. The reply states that the matter will be investigated within two business days. That means Monday and/or Tuesday, August 17 and/or 18. Something remarkable happened. Almost all those posters came down. There still are a couple up but most of them are down. Now every week for the last few years those posters have been up there. They are oversize ($490.00 fine) and always cover my flyers or someone else’s ($490.00) fine. So each poster is liable in all cases for a $980.00 fine and in many cases for a fine of $1,470.00.
Take a look at the videos I filmed. Add up the fines if the Bylaws were being imposed. We are looking at a very serious penalty which clearly is not being imposed. Someone at MLS is not doing their job. How can I say that? Well, let’s go back to Sherlock Holmes: “If you eliminate all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is most likely the truth.”
THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA defended street postering in THE RAMSDEN DECISION as FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR THOSE WITHOUT ACCESS TO MAINSTREAM MEDIA (newspapers, magazines, radio, television…).
THE CITY OF TORONTO seemingly defends that right with its Postering Bylaws which, as I have said, are well thought out and eminently fair.
In not stopping those who poster over my work and that of others, in not strictly enforcing the rules about size and number of posters except against, it seems myself and my friends (I have other people I posted flyers for who were informed by James Gillis that if they used my service they would be fined and they were fined) it seems MLS, its officers and the City of Toronto are in collusion with James Gillis.
A friend wrote: “Glad you’re pushing on the postering violations. This is something for which (at least in principle) there is supposed to be a legal recourse (even if the hate posters are so much worse). The city’s enforcement of the law against your friend is an important example to use. Selective enforcement is not something anyone will accept.
“I have a few thoughts. Photos are much better than video for demonstrating postering violations (and for documenting the hateposters for that matter). When complaining to the city about Jamie, I would stick mostly to his bylaw violations and leave out what other people have to say about Jamie (because it will be seen as hearsay) and things about Jamie’s bike business (which will be seen as irrelevant attacks however true they may be). The hate posters I would only mention subtly (since they don’t violate the bylaws and there’s no “proof” Jamie is putting them up). Bringing up the hate can generate sympathy, though, (as it should) which can increase the chances of a bylaw officer acting on the complaint, but only if the
primary focus of the complaint is on actionable things, i.e. bylaw violations from posters with identifying information.”
In reply I stated that while I agree about photos the videos allow us to clearly see that more than one poster for the same and/or essentially the same subject is being posted on each kiosk. That this is something James Gillis advertises he will do can be seen by going to his site.
While the things other people have to say in the material can wrongly be seen as hearsay I admit. They are not hearsay. They are the testimonies of people who have worked for the man. They will stand up in court.
As for proof that he is posting the hate flyers that was impossible to prove in the past. It no longer is because his latest barrage of posters bears not only his name but also his email address.
In the past I was hesitant to involve a lawyer as this is a civil action. James Gillis has no money and no assets. Victory would be Pyrrhic with the victor getting hit with court costs.
But now it is clear that the City Of Toronto is not enforcing its Poster Laws against prime offenders.
“If you eliminate all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is most likely the truth.”–Sherlock Holmes.
The City of Toronto has money. It has assets. In refusing to act against those who blatantly ignore its Bylaws the City of Toronto is complicit with them.
It now makes sense to go to court.
The issue is not my right to post flyers (that is part of it). The issue is FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR THOSE WITHOUT ACCESS TO MAINSTREAM MEDIA. In other words, freedom of speech for the most vulnerable in any society, the poor.
Right now, unless you want to pay James Gillis, our posters will be covered over, torn down, torn up and our rights flushed down the toilet.
Often I find the flyers I and others have have posted torn up and dumped in the blue bin at the front of my house. Who put them there? One guess is all you get. If you need two you have not been paying attention.
How much should the City of Toronto be sued for?
What price can be put on FREEDOM OF SPEECH?
THE CITY OF TORONTO, its mayor, its Councillors, its officers as well as our provincial and federal members of parliament (all of whom have shown blind eyes and deaf ears to this ongoing abuse of the most essential of rights) should be sued for not millions but billions.
Then the message will be hammered home across the nation.
What message is that? It is don’t mess with the poor.
I want a lawyer who understands that without Freedom Of Speech we are nothing.
That lawyer will be as determined to win on this issue as I am.
After we have won we can give back to my friends with substantial interest the money this city’s Bylaw enforcement officers stole from them.
And that woman who was fourteen when she was plied with crack cocaine, repeatedly sexually assaulted (and, according to reliable reports, filmed) can be given from our victory largess more than ample funds to get the help she needs and the life back that her rapist stole from her.
Am I angry? No, I am not angry. I am mad as Hell. If you are not there is something seriously wrong with you.
–Reg Hartt, 8/18/2018.
These pictures were taken Monday, August 17, 2015: