City plays Santa with ‘Toys for Tickets’

Journal Staff

Sarnia is getting downright festive about parking tickets this year, although one councillor called it humbug.

Council approved a “Toys for Tickets” project last week that will allow drivers to avoid paying parking fines by donating a new children’s toy or gift card.

The city is partnering with the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton, which will distribute the toys to children.

Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, participants can bring the parking ticket and an unwrapped toy in its original packaging, together with the receipt, to customer service at City Hall during regular business hours.

Providing the value of the toy is equal to or exceeds the amount owing, the ticket will be waived, the city said.

Toys for newborns to 18-year-olds will be accepted.

Just one councillor was opposed. Terry Burrell said supporting the program allows the United Way to bypass the normal budgeting process.

“I guess I’m going to play Grinch. I think this is a very bad idea,” he said.

“There are a million different, wonderful stories around the city that would love to have some city money go to support them.