The Fight the Fines campaign is a pro bono legal service organized and supported by The Democracy Fund, a charitable non-profit legal clinic supported solely by donations. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and provincial restrictions in Ontario came a new legal landscape with thousands of people and businesses being charged for various reasons under various statutes– both provincial and federal. Fight the Fines was created in 2021 to support those unable to afford or find legal representation for their matters. They vary from basic Trespass To Property Tickets with a $65 fine to quasi-criminal corporate charges with fines in the millions.
With over 2,000 people in need, TDF enlisted Jenna Little to spearhead their campaign, organize the clients and defense in Ontario, and fight the fines. She couldn’t do this alone!
Jenna Little, MBA graduated from Humber College with a diploma in Court & Tribunal Agents in 2004. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at York University, and then a Maser of Business Administration at the Unversity of Fredericton in 2018. That same year, she also completed the Osgoode Certificate in Provincial Offences Practice. She has extensive experience defending provincial offences and case management. She is passionate about arguing Charter applications, crafting appeals, legal research and writing, and making novel arguments. She is based out of Pickering, Ontario.
Kaitlyn completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto, studying Religion, Society and Ethics, and graduated with distinction in 2010. She went on to pursue paralegal studies, graduated with high honours and was licensed as a paralegal in 2013. She has worked mainly in criminal law and provincial offences throughout her career. Kaitlyn is passionate about issues arising in the intersection of mental health, ethics and the law. She joined the Fight the Fines team intially to assist with out-of-province matters in 2021 and now works solely on cases in Ontario; she based out of Etobicoke, Ontario.
Mark graduated from the University of Guelph in 2010 with a major in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. He Completed his Paralegal Studies diploma from Sir Stanford Flemming College in 2014. His focus is trial and Charter advocacy with an emphasis on defending serious, quasi-criminal matters. He has also represented clients in matters concerning minor, summary conviction, criminal charges laid under the Criminal Code of Canada. He is based out of Napanee, Ontario.
Kristen obtained a paralegal diploma from St. Clair College in 2016. Her primary focus was initially on employment law related matters as well as the defence of provincial offence charges involving a wide variety of violations including traffic tickets, commercial vehicle violations, snowmobile operation charges, among other issues. She joined the team in 2022 and is based out of Windsor, Ontario
Sandra completed her honours diploma in Paralegal Studies at Westervelt College in 2016. She has worked in the provincial offences scope since graduating and has become a general practitioner in recent years. She joined the team in 2022 and is based out of Brantford, Ontario.
Choosing the best paralegal for your case can be difficult. With so many paralegals to choose from, how do you know who to pick? The best way to find the right paralegal is by knowing what type of case you have and what your needs are. There are a few things you should consider when looking for a paralegal:
Scope: What kind of legal issue are you having? Paralegals have scopes, so you will want to hire one who specializes in the area you need help in, such as Provincial Offences or Small Claims. Hiring a “jack of all trades” will not give you the professional expertise you really need if you have a particularly serious or complex matter. Here are Lighthouse Legal Services, we specialize in only one scope: quasi-criminal and regulatory offences, also known as Provincial Offences. That’s it! There’s no need for us to muddy the waters with any other kind of law– we want to master this scope, period.
Experience: How long has the paralegal been practicing? Has he or she dealt with cases similar to yours before? Have they run many trials and do they know all the players in your specific court? You want someone who has been around for a long time, knows the ins and outs of each court (they are all unique!), and has the experience to support the type of fight and passion you want from a representative.
Cost: How much will your case cost? Are there any extra fees that might be added on during the process? Are you willing to pay more for a paralegal with more experience? When dealing with an accident matter, or something that is intense with serious consequences for you, going the “cost effective” route may not be your best option, because you could be sacrificing service, experience, and attention, but you need to ensure your fees are affordable at the same time.
Big firm vs. small firm (or sole practitioner): Here are Lighthouse Legal Services, we’ve worked with the “big firms”. We know how they operate and how your file will be treated. If you want a boutique experience, including specialized attention to your file by one or two people max, and personalized communication, you will probably want to go for a smaller firm or sole practitioner. Sole practitioners and smaller firms are also more available to you: they can text you when you would like, speak to you on the phone when they aren’t in court and on weekends when you aren’t at work, and can generally give you more attention than big firms. You aren’t a case number with Lighthouse Legal Services– you are a valued client!
Your initial interaction: How do you feel when you speak with this person? Do you have a good rapport and do you feel comfortable? Were they able to make you feel calmer about your situation? Were they able to give you an idea of what to expect out of your case, and the pros and cons of your choices at first? How did that make you feel? Did you feel comfortable asking questions and for clarification, if needed? Do you feel you are able to contact them without feeling like you are “bugging” them (we hope you never feel this way with us!)? Did you feel pressure to retain them right away?
We hope that these tips are helpful when thinking about which paralegal to retain. There are many firms and practitioners out there, so you need to choose the one that is right for you. If you decide that firm is Lighthouse Legal Services, great!
Are you a senior driver looking for quick information about your licensing conditions? Look no more!
If you are 70 years of age or older and a G or M driver involved in a collision
Anyone who is 70 or older and holds a G or M class license and is involved in an collision will have to do an examination that includes:
• A written test regarding the rules of the road • An in-car test • Medical and physical exams, tests, and procedures to determine fitness to drive • A vision test
Regardless of what happens with your ticket, or even if you weren’t issued a ticket, you will be facing a test if you are over 70 years of age and involved in a collision.
If you are 80 years of age or older and a G or M driver in general
Anyone who is 80 or older and holds a G or M class license will need to do an examination every two years to keep their license. You will have to:
• Take a vision test • Undergo a driver record review • Participate in a 45-minute Group Education Session (GES) • During the GES, complete two, brief, non-computerized in-class screening assignments • If necessary, take a road test
Note: There is no charge for any of the license-renewal requirements– you only have to pay the license-renewal fee.
If you are a commercial driver 65 to 80 years of age
Anyone who is 65 to 80 years of age and holds an A, B, C, D, E, or F class license and is involved in an accident or accumulates more than two demerit points will need to do an examination that includes:
• A written test regarding the rules of the road • An in-vehicle test — in the vehicle that you are authorized to drive • An in-vehicle test, in the vehicle that you are authorized to drive but is equipped with air brakes • An examination of your knowledge of air brakes, their function, and safe operation of • Medical and physical exams, tests, and procedures to determine fitness to drive • A vision test
Anyone under the age of 80 who holds a class A, B, C, D, E, or F license will have to do the above mentioned examination every five years, but depending on your age will have to demonstrate that you continue to meet the qualifications at different years.
Anyone 80 years or older with a class A, B, C, D, E, or F license will have to do the above exam every year and demonstrate that you continue to meet the qualifications every year.