B.C. man angry he’s being ‘forced’ to pay Alberta traffic ticket received by deceased son

Click to play video: 'B.C. man in battle over decade-old Alberta speeding ticket issued to dead son'
B.C. man in battle over decade-old Alberta speeding ticket issued to dead son
WATCH: A B.C. man is accusing the Alberta government of caring more about cash than compassion following a photo radar dispute. Tomasia DaSilva reports. – May 2, 2024

A father in British Columbia is angry he’s being forced to pay for an Alberta photo radar ticket he believes his now-deceased son received a decade ago.

“My son’s dead,” Mike Boissonneault said. “It’s a 10-year-old ticket and I didn’t commit the offence.”

Boissonneault, who works most of the time out of Victoria, B.C. lost his 32-year-old son Adrian six years ago in a tragic traffic collision.

“He was such a good kid. Engaging and full of life,” he said. “It still breaks my heart every day.”

Mike Boissonneault and Adrian
Mike Boissonneault and Adrian. Courtesy: Mike Boissonneault

That heartbreak turned to anger after he received a notice in the mail from the Canadian government. It stated that a vehicle, registered to him, had been clocked speeding by photo radar in Alberta in 2014, and he had failed to pay the fine and was subsequently convicted.

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“I owed $148 for a traffic ticket that occurred sometime in July 2014 in Alberta,” he said incredulously. “I thought, ‘Oh this must be a scam.'”

Boissonneault then figured out that Adrian, whom he had bought a vehicle for while he was studying briefly in Alberta in 2014, had likely received the ticket. Boissonneault doesn’t know why Adrian didn’t pay it.

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He then sent all of the documents, including Adrian’s death certificate, to various officials with the Alberta government but said all of his arguments went unheard.

“Not only am I innocent, but I’m also a grieving father. It’s hard to perceive this as anything other than a tax grab or a money grab.”

Boissonneault added because he had no knowledge about the ticket until just three weeks ago, he didn’t show up in Leduc for his court date. He said he was told he could still fight it but he would have to do it in Alberta or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) could take the money out of any refund.

“They’re telling me the only option I have is to set a court date and show up in person to dispute the ticket,” he said. “So, it’s a $148 ticket that they’re going to take funds out of my 2023 tax return.”

Notice from Gov. of Canada. Courtesy: Mike Boissonneault

Global News reached out to both Alberta Transportation and the Minister of Justice.

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The office of Alberta’s Minister of Justice sent us a statement saying, Judicial independence is paramount to our justice system and as such the Government of Alberta cannot intervene in any private legal matter, including rescinding tickets.

Fighting traffic tickets

Charlie Pester, who heads the group POINTTS: The Traffic Ticket Specialists, said the rules around photo radar tickets in Alberta are very clear.

“If you lend your car out to someone and it’s registered in your name and they go out and get a camera ticket — it’s going to come to you,” he said. “It’s not going to come to the guy driving.”

Pester reiterated what the Government of Alberta told Boissonneault, that those contesting these types of tickets can be done with an application to set aside a conviction.

“It just means they set aside the conviction and give you a new trial date,” he said. “So that conviction that they recorded in absence, they would just essentially erase that and set you a new date.”

Pester added most people don’t contest photo radar tickets because “it’s too much of a hassle” and can cost more than it’s worth.

Adrian Boissenault
Adrian Boissenault. Courtesy: Mike Boissonneault

“It’s not about the money, I mean $148. It’s the principle of the fact and the circumstances,” Boissonneault said.

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“I can hardly imagine after 10 years how much time money and effort the folks in various government positions have spent trying to get $148 out of me. I’m sure they’ve spent that money many times over already.”

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