Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday August 19, 2017
Up to $10,000 fine for waterfall trespassers requiring rescue
The city will seek fines of up to $10,000 for trespassers requiring a rope rescue at Hamilton waterfalls.
“Anyone who is a repeat trespasser or causes a rope rescue will be issued a court appearance and we will be seeking a higher fine,” said city spokesperson Ann Lamanes.
Bylaw enforcement officers went to the hospital and issued a Part 3 summons to a hiker rescued Wednesday at Albion Falls while the woman was still being treated for minor injuries.
The summons is a more serious charge than the standard $135 provincial offences notice given to 51 trespassers at Albion Falls since heightened enforcement began July 17.
Of those notices, 15 were given out the same day the woman was rescued. She was singled out for the summons because she required help. She will now have to appear in court and faces a potentially larger fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.
“The person that was rescued required the emergency services team to respond for over two hours to get her out of a prohibited area,” Lamanes said. “We have laid a more severe charge because of the impact this offender has had on emergency services and city resources.”
Less than two hours after the city announced it had issued the summons Thursday, a hiker required emergency help at Tew Falls in Dundas just after 4 p.m. A rope rescue was not required, but the woman was carried out in a basket.
The Hamilton Fire Department has expressed concern in the past about charging trespassers for the cost of rope rescues for fear it will deter those in trouble from calling for help. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)