Administrative Monetary Penalties

Did you receive an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP)?

AMPS were created for municipalities to generate revenue via bylaws and other minor infractions without
using institutional and court resources. They are run by the city and the screening and hearing officers are both city employees and not Justices of the Peace. There is no court process, no trial, and no right to disclosure, as you would normally have.

This was decided in 2015 as a means to cut down the amount of volume being seen in POA court,
allowing resources to focus on more “serious” charges.

Scary enough, in 2015 the government proposed to turn ALL tickets into AMPs– so all traffic tickets would potentially go through the same process. Thankfully, due to a lot of fighting back from the paralegal community, that was not successful.

This all came on the back of a supreme court case called Guindon v Canada which ruled on the distinction
between criminal and regulatory penalties for the purposes of our right to due process under section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

This court ruled that AMPs are generally considered to be administrative in nature and thus not subject to the legal protections under the Charter. There are normal standads of judicial review but only for matters that would be considered disproportionate, such as hundreds of thousands of dollars.