Montreal

Quebec street hockey dad fights fine

More than 500 people sign a petition to strike down a Montreal-area West Island bylaw that forbids street sports, after a father was fined for playing hockey outside with his son and friends.
David Sasson, fined for playing street hockey with his son, says municipal leaders in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., should encourage children to play outside.
More than 500 people have signed a petition to strike down a Montreal-area West Island bylaw that forbids street sports, after a father was fined for playing hockey outside with his son and friends.

The acting mayor of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, where the offence occurred, says the bylaw won't be changed, but this shouldn't stop street hockey games — unless someone complains.

David Sasson was fined $75 two weeks ago for playing a game of street hockey with his seven-year-old son and some of their friends on a residential street in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

Sasson said public security officers who patrol the neighbourhood told him they had to fine him because they received a noise complaint.

"First of all, I didn't believe him and asked him to repeat himself," Sasson said. "I mean, this is ridiculous."

In Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a bylaw prohibits playing any sport on the street. But Sasson pleaded not guilty to the charge and plans on fighting it.

He organized another street hockey game this week to protest the rule.

Sasson says more than 200 people showed up for the Tuesday game, which was played in a public parking lot across the street from Dollard-des-Ormeaux's city hall.

"Public security was there, including the police department, and ironic or not they were involved in our game," he said.
Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident David Sasson says he was surprised when public security officers told him they had to fine him for the street hockey game. ((CBC))

Hundreds have also signed a petition asking municipal leaders to amend the bylaw, Sasson said.

"Kids should not be cooped up in the house," he said. "It was actually the first nice day [in recent months] and the kids wanted to be outside, and we should be promoting that activity."

The bylaw forbidding playing in the street has been on the books in Dollard-des-Ormeaux since 1992 and the city has no intention of changing it, Zoe Bayouk, the acting mayor, said Tuesday.

But people can still play street hockey, she said.

"It is OK unless there is a complaint," Bayouk said. "That is the way we have worked all these years. And [other areas around Montreal including] Dorval, Côte-Saint-Luc, Pierrefonds, they all have the same bylaw."