STM ticket inspectors are not violating the constitutional rights of Montrealers when fining those who don’t have proof-of-payment tickets, ruled the Quebec Superior Court.
Random checks for metro tickets has long been a practice of STM inspectors, with a STM by-law stipulating that a $200 fine can be enforced for anyone who doesn’t have proof-of-payment,
Plenty of Montrealers have been personally affected by the by-law, with many fined a couple of hundred dollars simply because they bought a ticket then threw it away after getting into the metro system.
Some concerned Montrealers decided to take the matter to court, arguing that the by-law violates a segment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where it says citizens have the right to be presumed innocent.
A Montreal municipal court judge ruled in favour of the complainants, saying that the by-law truly does infringe on the constitutional rights of Montrealers.
But the STM appealed the decision, taking the case to a higher level court.
Unfortunately (depending on your perspective) Judge Guy Cournoyer of the Quebec Superior Court overturned the previous decision, siding in favour of the STM.
Randomly asking metro riders to present their tickets “does not constitute a violation of the right to the presumption of innocence of the users” says the ruling, reports JDM.
The by-law was said to be a "reasonable regulatory requirement" to ensure no one is cheating the system.
So be wary and make sure to keep your metro ticket, because the 70 STM ticket inspectors who patrol the transit network are officially allowed to fine you $200 if you’re spotted without a proof-of-payment.