The man behind the fundraising push to help a cancer survivor pay a massive fine from the city’s bylaw office is now offering refunds.
Jeff Schlemmer, who’s also the head of Neighbourhood Legal Services, told 980 CFPL he’s still happy to help pay the fine but he understands if people feel betrayed following new revelations from the woman at the centre of the story.
The unidentified woman told the London Free Press that she was handed a $2,260 fine under the city’s vehicle for hire bylaw after a bylaw officer pretended to be a patient needing a ride. She had been charging roughly $12 a ride to cover gas and maintenance.
Now, she has added that before that fine she had been warned by the city and she had also been caught picking up a fare at a mall.
“Certainly the fact that she had a warning and lied about not admitting that is not good,” Schlemmer noted.
“Having said that, for me as someone who’s donated to her, it doesn’t change the fact that she is a Stage 3 cancer survivor, she’s living on $1,000 a month and the patients who she was helping, the alternative as I understand it, is they would pay about $70 for a ride like this which is what my friend who just died of cancer was paying.”
Schlemmer added that regardless of the new details, the story still raises concerns about the vehicle for hire bylaw itself.
“I think in this case, what would be ideal is to get her fine paid, to get clarification on how she can do actual non-profit volunteer driving without running afoul of the bylaw, and then do that. Then we need to fix this bylaw to make it clear that it doesn’t apply to non-profit volunteers.”
As of Friday afternoon, the GoFundMe campaign had raised over $8,000.