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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 85260
Experience:  Lawyer
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Hello, I am very much concerned about vandalism

Customer Question

Hello, I am very much concerned about vandalism in Blythwood Park, Toronto. A young man, 23-24 years old, comes with a big hunting knife on a regular basis and cuts junior trees (firs, pines, maples, dogwood, etc.) and cuts low branches of big trees (up to 8-9 feet, he is a very tall man) severely damaging trunks and bark of the trees. The Blythwood Park was a beautiful, clean, well maintained forest before the man appeared a month ago. And now the forest is full of poor damaged trees and of cut trees and branches on the ground. I can't believe that this vandal is untouchable by law. Is he? Thank you. Galina XXXX, retired, volunteer.

Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

It may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.Please do not worry that you will be charged additionally if I ask you questions or if you need to ask me questions. That is not at all how the site works.

As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

Did you tell the police that he is actually harming the trees?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Yes, I did tell the police that the man cut and damaged trees.


And I repeat, surprisingly, the police officer said: "It's all right, because he did not threaten YOU with the knife".


The vandalism increased severely after I had been to the Police Headquarters 10 days ago.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
That is nonsense.

I know the park well. It Is beautiful.

It's also not the least bit acceptable for someone to be there with a large knife. There are families in the park.

It is an offence to vandalize property.

I suggest that you call again and say that there is repeated vandalism and you are worried about it.

If that does not work then there is another route you can go if the police will not assist you.

You can attend at the Justice of the Peace's office in any criminal court.

You simply walk in, tell the JP's secretary what you want to do, and he/she will give you a form to fill out (basic information and your allegations).

Then after you hand it in, you'll speak to the JP and explain the basis for the allegations.

Then if the JP decides there is enough to lay the information, he/she will schedule a pre-enquete (relatively brief in camera hearing to determine whether or not to proceed).

Be prepared to bring any evidence or witnesses you might have for that.

As well, it may make sense to report this by-law enforcement. They may agree to get involved.

And if you are in the park and see this, so long as it does not put you in any danger, take some pictures of the guy cutting the trees or walking around with a knife.

Does that help?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. I will certainly follow all of your advices.


But I have a question (I need your answer to justify my further action):


 


Please tell me what section of Canada (or Ontario) Law speaks of tree damaging on public property. I need exact reference/number/name of the law.


 


One more thing: I am certainly is the only witness of the man performance - he is careful, he operates in the middle of the forest, and when nobody is around. I could catch him only because working in the forest I watched visitors, I knew he comes at 6 - 6.30 PM (some day he cut my chair, backpack, even my dog's leash between 6 and 6.30 when I worked in some other part of the forest leaving my things unattended).


And I am not sure I will have the courage to take his picture, but I remember his appearance very well.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
Here is the section in the Criminal Code. The offence is called "mischief" and this is "mischief to property".

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-430.html
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

 


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX hope there is something more specific concerning parks, urban forestry, etc.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
I think that's where by-law enforcement would come in and that's why I think you should call the city tomorrow, explain your role, what is happening and ask if there is a role for by-law enforcement here.
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 85260
Experience: Lawyer
Legal Ease and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
Thanks very much for the rating.

Please take the time to participate in the customer satisfaction survey as that will go into my record with the site.You will be sent an email with the survey in a couple of days.

And feel free to keep my name in case you need me again down the road. You can always put my name into the subject line the next time you post so that your question will stand out for me and I will answer it just as soon as I can.

Thanks and take good care!

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