Edmonton family will fight $100 fine issued for clearing ice rink

An Edmonton family vows to fight a $100 ticket issued for clearing a makeshift hockey rink on a storm pond near their home last week.

Morgann Tomlinson says signs on pond don't indicate any bylaw is in effect

Ticket issued for clearing off an outdoor rink

8 years ago
Duration 1:41
Featured VideoAn Edmonton family cleaned off an area of the neighbourhood storm pond and was given a $100 ticket for a safety violation.

An Edmonton family vows to fight a $100 ticket issued for clearing a makeshift hockey rink on a storm pond near their north Edmonton home last week.

Morgann Tomlinson says the city played hardball by fining her family.

Morgann Tomlinson stands on her deck with the ticket issued to her husband last week for clearing and flooding the storm pond where they hoped they, their kids and neighbours could skate. (CBC)

Park rangers ticketed Tomlinson's husband Brian on Dec. 31, saying the fenced-off pond near 82nd Street and 178th Avenue was unsafe because the ice was not thick enough to play on, Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson said Brian had climbed a chain-link fence, flooded and cleared a section of Poplar Lake behind their Klarvatten home.

The couple were preparing for a day of outdoor skating with their children when two bylaw officers showed up at their home and issued them a fine "without warning."

The Tomlinson family hoped to skate on this storm pond in north Edmonton on New Year's Eve, but were thwarted when city park rangers issued them a ticket. (Scott Stevenson/CBC)

Tomlinson said the ticket was issued for "modifying the land in a way likely to cause injury."

While there are signs warning of danger due to ice conditions, there's no sign saying you cannot skate on the lake, and they had planned to take precautions, she said.

"We would never put our children in harm's way," she said.

A city spokesperson says skating is prohibited on Poplar Lake for both safety and environmental reasons. The lake is an environmentally protected wetland. And due to concerns over thin ice, skating is prohibited on all of the city's stormwater drainage ponds this winter, and each pond is marked with clear warnings. 

However, Tomlinson says the posted signs don't indicate it's a bylaw, so they will fight the ticket in court in February.