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STM drops fine against Montreal man giving free hugs in Metro

Click to play video: 'Man fined for giving free hugs in the Montreal Metro' Man fined for giving free hugs in the Montreal Metro
WATCH ABOVE: The STM has dropped a $101 fine against Tommy Boucher, who was at the Jean-Talon Metro station giving away free hugs – Nov 28, 2016

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has dropped the $101 fine against Tommy Boucher, who was at the Jean Talon Metro station last week giving away free hugs.

According to spokesperson Amélie Régis, Boucher will now receive a warning.

“All the same, the STM reiterates that this type of activity has to take place outside the turnstiles for questions of fluidity and security,” she told Global News.

Boucher said he was standing with his arms wide open, wearing his usual garb — a green T-shirt that reads free hugs — when he was approached by two STM inspectors.

READ MORE: Montreal man fined for giving free hugs in Metro

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“Surprised, I asked which permit?”

Tommy Boucher was fined for giving free hugs at the Jean-Talon Metro station in Montreal, Tuesday Nov. 22, 2016. Tommy Boucher

He said one of the two inspectors then started flipping through the pages of a little booklet to find a rule that applied to what he was doing.

READ MORE: Accessibility activists demonstrate on Montreal metro’s 50th birthday

Boucher was fined for contravening Rule 17, subsection II of the section VIII of law R-036:

“In a Metro station, after obtaining the authorization of the Société, it is permitted to offer for sale or lease services or merchandise, or to exhibit or distribute such services or merchandise, subject to the other restrictions in the present By-law. Under any other circumstance or in any other place, such activities are forbidden.”

In this November 2016 photo, Tommy Boucher stands in the Montreal Metro to give free hugs. Tommy Boucher

He started giving out free hugs a year and a half ago, saying it all started at the Berri Metro station.

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READ MORE: Montreal metro turns 50, what will next 50 years bring?

“I had a bad morning and I met someone who was giving free hugs and I decided to take it,” he said.

“This guy changed it. It’s all I needed to get a good day.”

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

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